Niti Aayog Chairman Arvind Panagariya while addressing the media today said that his organisation has given the Centre four options open before it regarding the debt-ridden Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) airline Air India. The four options in front of the government are 1) whether to privatise the airline or not, 2) if the airline is to be privatised then will the bid be open to national buyers or international buyers, 3) should the government maintain a stake in the ownership of the airline and 4) will Air India’s debt be cleared after the airline is privatised.
Civil Aviation Ministry sources have told the Indian Express that the Centre is examining all options including privatisation of the beleaguered national carrier, which is burdened by debt to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore. Centre is currently considering options given by the Niti Aayog to the government.
Union Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Tuesday told the Indian Express that, “Niti Aayog has made recommendations on the future course of action for the airline. All courses of action are being examined”. Raju made the comment a day after Finance Minister Jaitley said that the private sector was capable of handling 100 percent traffic in the aviation sector, according to the Indian Express.
The Economic Survey 2017 had also suggested that government should privatise Air India. The airline earned an operating profit of Rs 105 crore in 2015-16.
Arvind Panagariya at the press meet also said that migration has an important impact on economic development. He also added that while rural areas need to be developed, sustainability and migration must not be treated negatively, according to ANI.