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Govt Rules Out Privatization Of Air India

PTI 12 Aug 2011, 19:41:26 IST

New Delhi, Aug 12: Crying foul, opposition Friday alleged in Lok Sabha there was a deliberate design to make state carrier Air India bankrupt in order to privatise it, prompting the government to rule out privatisation and promise administrative and monetary steps to turn it around.

CPI and BJP members slammed the government saying it was doing nothing to help the bleeding 'Maharaja', which used to be a symbol of prestige, and is now on death bed.

Specifically targeting Air India's Chairman and Managing Director for the mess and attacking the Prime Minister's Office for his appointment, they demanded an overhaul of the entire management followed by full financial infusion, contending the recent 1,200 crore package was not at all enough.

Responding to the members' concern expressed through a calling attention motion, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy ruled out any move to privatise Air India and said the government would provide "all possible support" to strengthen the carrier.

Listing various steps being contemplated to turn around the airline, he said there will be a complete "rationalisation" of manpower.

"If government found any officer responsible for the losses, government will take action. Government has an open mind, ... government will definitely consider that ... action against officers responsible," said Narayanasamy, responding on behalf of Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi suffering from a throat infection.

Dissatisfied with the reply, the opposition members staged a walkout. PTI