CBI probing Air India decisions taken during UPA govt, says Jayant Sinha

The CBI has decided to probe the controversial merger as well as alleged irregularities in purchase and lease of aircraft by Air India and Indian Airlines under the UPA government.
Jayant Sinha
India TV Business Desk New Delhi 30 May 2017, 11:10 PM IST

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha today said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating decisions taken with regard to the national carrier Air India during the UPA regime. 

Sinha added that the Civil Aviation Ministry would fully cooperate with the probe agency.

He observed that the strategic and operational logic that would drive a merger has been difficult to achieve in the case of Air India-Indian Airlines merger -- a matter which is also under the CBI scanner.

The CBI has decided to probe the controversial merger as well as alleged irregularities in purchase and lease of aircraft by Air India and Indian Airlines under the UPA government.

Three FIRs have been registered by the CBI apart from a preliminary enquiry into the controversial decisions with regard to the carriers, including surrender of profitable routes to favour private airlines.

"These are matters that pertain to the UPA government and those are the decisions that are being investigated right now. Our ministry is cooperating fully with the CBI and providing them whatever support they need," Sinha said.

At a press briefing, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation said that right now, investigations are underway to look into the financial aspects of the merger.

"As far as we can see, the strategic and operational logic that would drive a merger has been difficult to achieve," he noted.

The Air India-Indian Airlines merger process was initiated in March 2006 and the proposal received Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led governments approval in March 2007.

Indian Airlines officially merged with Air India in April 2007.

Air India is staying afloat on a Rs 30,000 crore bail- out package spread over 10 years announced by the UPA government in 2012.

Emphasising that the ministry needs to look into the future, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the wrongdoings are of the past and that the ministry would cooperate with the probe agency.

"In three years, we have not generated any scam. We have no intention to generate (any scam). This government will work honestly," he noted.

(With PTI inputs)

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