State-owned Air India has asked the ministry of civil aviation for an additional grant of Rs 1,700 crore, over and above what the government had allocated in the Union Budget for 2015-16.
Ministry officials said that there is a gap in what was estimated and what is the actual requirement. During the Budget, Air India was given a grant of Rs 2,500 crore, as a part of the Rs 30,000 crore bailout package, which is expected to turn the national carrier profitable by 2022. “There is a gap of R1,700 crore, and we have asked the ministry of finance for the additional money,” said ministry officials.
The ministry of civil aviation, at the behest of Air India, has asked the ministry of finance for the funds.
The money is to be raised through supplementary grants, the officials clarified. However, there is a catch. The ministry of finance will have to check on the allocation and utilisation of grants that it has provided to other ministries, and depending on the availability of funds, it will be decided what Air India gets.
“We have requested the ministry of finance to give Air India the money through supplementary demand of funds,” said officials. Supplementary funds are mid-term allocation of funds which occur due to shortfall. “This is the first supplement. We have already given the ministry of finance, the maximum required. If we do not get the entire amount, there are two to three supplements every year,” officials said.
The first batch of supplementary demand of funds will be presented to the Parliament in the ensuing monsoon session, the grants are expected to come in the third quarter of 2015-16.
Meanwhile, Air India has also asked the ministries of external affairs and home affairs to clear its dues, which are in tune of Rs 500 to Rs 600 crore.