PM to ask FM to take expeditious decisions to revamp AI

PM to ask FM to take expeditious decisions to revamp AI

"We will resolve the issues surrounding Air India. I will request Pranab Mukherjee (who heads the Group of Ministers on AI's turnaround) to take expeditious decisions in the matter", the Prime Minister told a group of editors in reply to a question on the issue.

With the GoM last week reviewing the airline's turnaround and financial restructuring plans, Air India expects the third tranche of Rs 1,200 crore equity in July even as it plans to operationalise two subsidiaries on MRO and ground handling as soon as it gets the official nod.

The government is also understood to have asked the airline to prepare a 8 to 10-year-plan of resource generation to revamp itself by fully implementing the turnaround programme.

The plan would be prepared on how much equity infusion would be required by the national carrier to make it self- sustaining and how it would generate resources to re-emerge as a leading airline of the region, sources said.

The cash-strapped carrier is seeking a total infusion of Rs 5,000 crore during this financial year itself, they said. The government has already infused Rs 2,000 crore in 2009-10, raising the airline's equity base to Rs 2,145 crore.

The airline Board, which met here yesterday, took stock of the progress made in effecting the turnaround plan.

A cabinet note on operationalising the proposed subsidiaries for ground handling and MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) has been forwarded to the Cabinet Secretary for circulation so that the issue of equity infusion can be taken up by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in the next few weeks, the sources said.

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