Business

Ahead Of Air India Disinvestment, Govt Looks For Employee Absorption Options

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| January 14 , 2018 , 19:43 IST

The government of India is moving ahead with disinvestment in Air India due to over-flowing debts but is facing stiff protests from the 29,000 employees working with the Airlines and its subsidiaries. The authorities are now exploring options to absorb these employees in public sector enterprises and voluntary retirement package.

In order to ensure a smooth strategic disinvestment, the ministries are looking for options to revive the airline's fortunes. Sources suggest that the government is now pondering over providing the option of joining public sector companies to the airline employees and the VRS packages are also under consideration, however, the final decision is still pending.

Responding to the multiple queries questioning government's strategy to absorb the employees apart from extending VRS package, the Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey told a leading News Agency, "Various options are under consideration to protect the interests of the employees."

Ahead of the proposed strategic stake sale, group ministries are mulling over the modal quality during the bidding. While the employee unions are expressed opposition for the disinvestment plan, the government allowed the overseas entities to own up to 49 percent stake under the approval route in Air India subject to certain conditions on January 10.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju confirmed that the disinvestment plan is to bring the airline at par with other domestic carriers while still being eligible for the preferential treatment extended to the national carrier. "Substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in an Indian national," the government had said.