Condemning government's decision to hand over Kolkata and Chennai airports in private hands, CPI(M) today said it would "jeopardise" the employees' future and demanded immediate scrapping of the privatisation plans.
"The central government should immediately scrap this privatisation plan," the CPI(M) Politburo, which met here for two days, said in a statement, criticising the decision to hand over the running of the two metro airports in Chennai and Kolkata owned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to private parties.
The government has decided to hand over the functioning of six airports -- Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur and Guwahati -- to private operators to run them under public-private partnership on a revenue-share model.
Strongly opposing the plan, the CPI(M) said that AAI had built the new terminals at both the airports and public funded airports were now to be handed over to private companies.
The AAI had recently modernised Kolkata and Chennai airports at a cost of Rs 2,325 crore and Rs 2,015 crore, respectively.
It has also upgraded both the passenger terminal and operational facilities at the other four airports, which were now being sought to be privatised.
"Apart from handing over public assets, the future of the employees of the AAI will be jeopardised," the party said, adding along with these, 12 other airports were to be similarly outsourced to private companies.
Opposition parties including the BJP and the Left had yesterday slammed Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh over his statements regarding privatisation of Air India and accused him of selling public asset without bringing a civil aviation policy.