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CAG red flags Air India's FY 17 accounts, says loss understated by Rs 35 bn

The government auditor's report is a part of the airline's FY 2017 accounts which was tabled before the Parliament on Wednesday

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

Air India

The Comptroller and General of India has said underreported its FY 2017 loss by Rs 35.46 billion due to the treatment of certain receivables as other income, lower provisioning and overstatement of deferred assets.

The government auditor's report is a part of the airline's FY 2017 accounts which was tabled before the Parliament on Wednesday.

Last fiscal the made a of Rs 57.6 billion on a total revenue of Rs 221 billion. for the year widened from Rs 38.3 billion in FY 16.

In its observations, has said the loss for FY 17 should have been higher and has also made certain comments with regard to the turnaround plan and its 'going concern' status. On its part has claimed there was no violation of accounting practices and thus no understatement of loss.

The said the recognised interest receivable of Rs 1.36 billion from its loss-making subsidiary as other income and same is not in conformity with accounting standards. This resulted in an understatement of losses and overstatement of other income by Rs 1.36 billion, the said. told the auditor that is expected to turnaround in near future and company does not anticipate in any uncertainty in the recovery of interest.

The government auditor has red-flagged another breach where the failed to make provision of Rs 5.68 billion for diminution in value of its investments in and Air India Engineering Services Limited. The auditor observed the airline should have made provision in its accounts in view of losses in two subsidiaries as this is in line with accounting norms. But the carrier defended its action and said Alliance Air is expected to break even and diminution in investment value is not considered permanent. Similarly, it said the engineering services firm (MRO) was expected to get additional business and Air India's investment in this business was expected to generate higher value at later stage.

Similarly, it has questioned the carry forward of deferred assets amounting Rs 28.42 billion of the year 2007-08 and 2008-09. While the company has not recognised deferred asset from FY 2009-10 onwards, the tax assets of prior period have not been written off.

“Accordingly carrying forward such assets has resulted in an overstatement of assets and understatement of losses by Rs 28.42 billion, the auditor said.

“In terms of the turnaround plan, AI is expected to be profitable with more than reasonable certainty. Hence, the has been carried forward since the amount is most likely to be capable of being absorbed by future permissible profits as per Income Tax Act and this is perfectly in order with the clarification given by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India with regard to the accounting standard,” Air India said in submission to the auditor.

6,200 flight slots could be key to attract bidders

Air India has more than 6,200 slots for domestic and international flights, which could be the a key attraction for potential bidders, according to an official document. Besides, Air India Express has around 555 slots at different local and overseas airports.

Moving ahead with the strategic disinvestment of Air India, the has unveiled the broad contours for the process.

Ex-pilot moves for insolvency proceedings

A former Air India pilot has dragged the national carrier to the National Complany Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking initiation of insolvency proceedings against it, saying the airline has been unable to clear his dues. Captain Subodh Kumar, who served Air India (AI) for 28 years, has sought the settlement of his claims of around Rs 6 million from the airline, alleging there were discrepancies in the payment of his salary and allowances between 2012 and 2016.

First Published: Fri, March 30 2018. 01:04 IST