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Air India sell-off: Not offering voluntary retirement to staffers, says CMD

At present, Air India has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Ashwani Lohani
Ashwani Lohani, Air India CMD. File Photo

National passenger carrier Air India's Chairman and Managing Director on Tuesday said that the airline has no plans to offer a VRS (voluntary retirement scheme) to its employees.

"There is no such proposal for VRS," Lohani said.

Earlier, some reports had mentioned that before the airline's divestment, its management has been asked by the government to draw up a proposal to offer voluntary buyouts to its employees.

"Air India and its subsidiaries have nearly 20,000 employees. Among them, Air India has only 11,500 employees. Air India management has not offered their employees voluntary buyouts," said Dhananjay Kumar, Spokesperson, Air India.

The development comes after the June 28 decision of the Union cabinet which gave its in-principle approval for divestment of AI, whose debt has mounted to Rs 50,000 crore besides huge losses.

The Union cabinet's decision on Air India came after NITI Aayog in a recent report to the Civil Aviation Ministry recommended strategic disinvestment in the loss-making Air India.

At present, the national passenger carrier has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore.

The airline in 2015-16 had posted an operating profit of Rs 105 crore. For the last fiscal (2016-17), the company is expected to report an improved operating profit margin.

The flag carrier had got a new lease of life on April 12, 2012, when the previous central government under the UPA had approved a Rs 30,000 crore turnaround (TAP) and financial restructuring plans (FRP) package spanning up to the year 2021.

First Published: Wed, July 19 2017. 01:13 IST