State owned Air India plans to clear its pending dues of oil companies, airports and other vendors, which amounts to around Rs 6,000 crore if it is approved by the finance ministry. The ministry of civil aviation has requested finance ministry to release this amount.
In an interview with Business Standard, Ajit Singh, civil aviation minister, said, " We still owe a lot of money to oil companies and airports which is around Rs 6,000.If the finance ministry clears the money in this session, then by January we should be able to clear our dues. We are still in the process of talks"
Earlier, in the government turnaround plan, it was Rs 10,000 crore for 2012-13. Rs 4,000 crore was allocated to us in the budget. By what time we will be able to clear these dues depends on the amount we get in this session, Singh added.
The ministry of civil aviation had earlier said in a statement, “The releases of various tranches of equity, however, would be subject to achievement of various laid down milestones that includes Pay Load Factor (PLF), On Time Performance (OTP), Fleet utilisation, Yield Factor, rationalisation of various emolument structure of the employees etc”
An Oversight Committee was constituted to monitor and ensure that the milestones are achieved before the release of tranches. Singh confirmed that Air India has met all the conditions.
The market share of AI has inched up from 16.8 per cent in May, 2012 to 20.8 per cent in October, 2012.
Air India was grappling with Human Resource (HR) issues post merger of erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines. The pilots went on a strike for around 60 days.
About the employee concerns, Singh said, “We will go to the cabinet also and put this proposal that in airlines industry ,pilots and engineers should be exempted from DPE (Department of Public Enterprises) guidelines.”These guidelines are for public sector enterprises about their personnel and wage policies.