The CPI today condemned the Narendra Modi government’s decision to clear disinvestment of national carrier Air India and accused it of being “hell-bent on destroying” the public sector without trying to set things right. The Left party said the government should set up a panel of experts to advise the beleaguered airline to come out of losses, withdraw disinvestment and stop its privatisation. “The CPI severely condemns the move. The NDA government is hell bent on destroying the public sector, without making any serious efforts to set right things in loss making public sector enterprises and industries,” the CPI alleged in a statement. Terming Air India as “one of the jewels” of public sector in the country, it observed the national airline was in losses due to the alleged “inefficiency” of administration.
Stating that “where there’s a will, there’s a way”, the CPI said there are possibilities the Air India can be brought out of losses if the government is “honest”. “The CPI demands that the government appoint an expert committee to advise Air India to come out of losses, withdraw the decision of disinvestment and stop privatisation,” it added. The Union Cabinet had on June 28 cleared disinvestment of Air India, which has floundered amid stiff competition from no-frills rivals and reported heavy losses.
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Announcing the decision, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said an in-principal approval for divestment of Air India has been taken, but did not say if it would be an outright sale or partial divestment.