After SJM, BMS too opposes Air India disinvestment

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Published: April 20, 2018 1:18:45 PM

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh today opposed the disinvestment of Air India, saying it's a national asset and the government should not sell it to private entities, a day after another RSS affiliate argued against the move.

SJM, BMS,  Air India, Air India disinvestment, RSS, RSS affiliationThe SJM said the government should monetise Air India’s assets for repayment of debt rather than selling its stake.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh today opposed the disinvestment of Air India, saying it’s a national asset and the government should not sell it to private entities, a day after another RSS affiliate argued against the move. “Air India is our national carrier, it’s is a public undertaking. It is a national asset, which belongs to the public. Government should not sell it to private firms,” BMS president Shaji Narayanan told PTI.

He said the BMS has conveyed its stand to the government and extended its full support to Air India employees’ union.

“On this issue we are with Air India employees and they have our full support,” Narayanan said. Yesterday, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) opposed the disinvestment of the debt-laden national carrier and said it did not approve of the move in its “current form”.

The SJM said the government should monetise Air India’s assets for repayment of debt rather than selling its stake. SJM co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said Air India has operating profits, but is running into losses because of its debts.

“Rather than selling its stake in the national carrier, the government can reduce its (the carrier’s) debt by selling off its land,” Mahajan told PTI yesterday. The opposition by two RSS affiliates comes days after the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat categorically said Air India should not be sold to a foreign buyer.

The Centre has invited ‘expression of interest’ to sell 76 per cent stake and management control in the airline. The Indian government owns 100 per cent equity of Air India. The airline was founded in the 1930s and is commonly known for its Maharajah mascot. The government has injected more than Rs 23,000 crore since 2012 to bail out the airline.

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