CITU condemns the Modi government’s anti-national decisions to hand over the national aircraft carrier Air India (AI) to the Tata Group

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) unequivocally condemns the Modi government’s anti-national decisions to hand over the national aircraft carrier - one of the Prides of India, the Air India (AI) to the private monopoly house - the Tata Group virtually free of cost, rather on negative payment to national exchequer. The Group of Ministers headed by the Home Minister Amit Shah has approved the deal by which 100% shareholding of Air India along with AI’s shareholding in Air India Express Ltd and AISATS would be transferred to the Talace Private Ltd, the so called special purpose vehicle of Tata Sons, an entity exclusively incorporated to this operations for paltry sum of Rs.18,000 crores.  Out of this Tata would own the debt liability for Rs.15,300 crores and the rest of Rs.2700 crores alone would be paid as cash to the Central government.

Since its takeover by Union Govt in 1948 followed by its nationalisation in 1953, several lakhs of crores was infused from national exchequer to expand its infrastructural asset base, huge fleet of aircrafts and properties, both within the country and abroad. During the last decade since 2009-10 till recently,  around Rs 1,10,000 crores have been infused in Air India by Govt comprising of Rs.58000 crores cash support and rest through Govt guarantee on credit.

Moreover, the sale-deal with Tata envisages that Govt will absorb the debt burden to the tune of Rs 46,262 crores out of the Rs.61,562 crores but the assets created by such debt would be handed over to Tata in lieu of only Rs 18000 crores. Besides this bonanza for Tata, as per this deal, the Air India will give Tata access to more than a hundred planes, thousands of trained pilots, crew and lucrative landing and parking slots all around the world. This is nothing but a free gift of our National Carrier to Tata. It has demonstrated the worst ever perverted economic deal of this fascistic political dispensation having organic nexus with corporate capital for frittering away national asset in favour of their corporate masters for song.

The fate of all the existing employees is still hanging in balance. Air India has 12,085 employees - 8,084 permanent and 4,001 contractual. In Air India Express around 1434 employees are working. The deals mention only one year retaining. Then rest of their service period would be at the mercy of Tata.

Though the attempts to privatize of our national carrier was initiated during the Vajpayee tenure itself, all successive central governments have also contributed to turn Air India into a loss making entity. As a part of their long drawn strategy of withdrawing government from all sorts of transport and communications and placing the same at the disposal of the crony capital, now this deal has been finalized. 

CITU, while denouncing all these reckless privatization spree of Modi government,  calls upon the working class  in general and its affiliated unions in particular to resist such anti-national activities of this government and expose their anti-national credentials and pseudo-nationalistic postures along with these right reactionaries’ nexus with corporate capital.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
(General Secretary)

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