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Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia

Jyotiraditya Scindia blames UPA for 'plight of Air India', defends disinvestment

By Ashoke Raj | Updated: Mar 23, 2022 18:44 IST


New Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday justified the government's decision to disinvest Air India, and told Lok Sabha that "the UPA government is responsible for the plight of the national carrier, one of the country's Navratnas."
Responding to the debate on the Demands for Grants of the Civil Aviation Ministry in Lok Sabha, Scindia hit out at the previous Manmohan Singh led UPA Government which was in power at the Centre till 2014.
"After the purchase of 111 aircraft during the UPA government and the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, the condition of Air India went on deteriorating," he said.
Scindia, who was earlier in the Congress party, slammed the "wrong decisions" of his former party in the presence of interim president Sonia Gandhi and said the financial condition of Air India continued to deteriorate while the "losses kept on increasing".
"Due to the wrong decisions taken during the UPA government, the financial condition of Air India continued to deteriorate, the losses kept increasing. Air India, which was in profit of 14-15 crores in 2005-06, had to face a loss of 85 thousand crores in the next 14 years," the Union Minister said.
Amidst protests by Sonia Gandhi and an uproar by Congress MPs, the Aviation Minister said: "I was silent about this, did not want to say anything but you want to speak about truth... so now can hear the truth."
Scindia also clarified on the several members who had raised the questions about future of Air India employees.
"As per the agreement of disinvestment with Tata on Air India..... the employees cannot be fired and if he wants to remove someone after one year, then that too can be done only through VRS scheme, the government is committed to providing medical facilities to Air India employees on the basis of CGHS and NHA," he said.
After over 8 hours of discussion, the Lok Sabha by voice of vote the Demands for Grants for the Union Budget - 2022-23 under the control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. (ANI)

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