NEW DELHI: Disinvestment of national carrier Air India is one of the top priorities of the Modi government, and the Ministry of Civil Aviation will soon come out with an Expression of Interest (EoI) for this.
Sources claim that the government is in favour of 100 per cent stake sale to attract investors, and Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani has written on the same lines in a national daily, arguing that government systems are not suited for running commercial organizations, particularly Air India.
“It is a harsh reality that governmental systems are ill-suited for running commercial organisations in its fold, more so an airline business that is very high on competition, regulation and technology yet has very thin margins that have a propensity to vanish with the slightest flutter in fuel prices,” Lohani wrote.
The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an RSS affiliate, termed Lohani’s view unfortunate.
Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convenor of SJM, tweeted: “It’s unfortunate that a man sent to revamp Air India a few months back is making this statement, not even once mentioning the political corruption of UPA. Need to look into corruption in aircraft procurement, routes, appointments. Why silent on real issues Mr Ashwani Lohani.”
The SJM is of the view that the national carrier is the country’s asset and a source of national pride and it can be revived given the fact that its performance indicators have improved in the last few years.
Lohani also said that Air India would remain the nation’s pride regardless of its ownership.
“At airports beyond our shores it gives the feel that home is right there,” Lohani wrote in the daily.