Centre of Indian Trade Unions strongly denounce the destructive move of the Govt of India for privatization of Air India at any cost and by any means.

In its previous regime, the Modi Govt tried best to conclude the privatization deal, invited Expression of Interests (EoI) for the same from interested buyers but failed to get any response. And in its second incarnation, the BJP Govt is planning to sell Air India, piece by piece, i.e., by selling its profit making subsidiary units like Alliance Air, Air India Express, AITSL, AIESL etc., to facilitate cheaper sale of AIR INDIA to private corporate players, both foreign and domestic.

The privatization is being justified by the present Govt on the plea that Air India has become unsustainable owing to heavy loss and indebtedness. This is nothing but a bogus plea. The loss and debt burden of Air India had not been the result of imprudence or failure of the concerned management; it is the atrocious interference of successive ministries in compelling the Air India for unprepared merger and purchase of huge number of Aircrafts without due diligence benefitting the foreign suppliers, which had landed the National Carrier into loss and heavy indebtedness. But despite all problems and constraints, Air India has been able to come back to operating profit consistently during most of the years under last BJP Govt. It has never defaulted in servicing the huge debt burden on time with the banks unlike many major private corporate majors who are going to be the prospective buyers of dismantled Air India. 

The entire privatization exercise of Air India, if seen in details, as reported by national print media, exposes the dubiousness to serve the private corporates including foreign majors severely compromising the national interests. The national carrier is being sold in pieces viz., Air India, AI-Sat, AI-Express etc and around 50 per cent of the debt burden would remain with a Special Purpose Vehicle-AI Asset Holding, keeping noncore real estate with it. This SPV along with substantial debt burden will remain with the Govt. 

Destructive ploy to privatise the National Carrier in play in the name of “big bang reform” under the NDA-II regime has become clear—push the PSU into red by imposing wrong and sabotaging decision and then hand it over to private hand with its huge assets-which are all national assets.

CITU condemns such destructive decision of the BJP Govt to privatise the National Carrier, AIR INDIA and demands upon the Govt to restrain from such retrograde move. All the eight unions of Air India Employees under Joint Forum of Air India Against Privatisation have jointly conveyed their strong opposition to such privatization move to CMD, Air India on 12th June 2019 and have been preparing for united struggle. CITU calls upon working people and their unions irrespective of affiliations to unite and resist such destructive ploy of the Govt at the centre.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

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