AI to gain most if govt clears funds to Home Ministry

AI to gain most if govt clears funds to Home Ministry

Air India (AI) will be a major beneficiary of the increase in funds for the Union Home Ministry once Parliament clears the supplementary demands for grants.

The Finance Ministry has earmarked Rs 100 crore for the Home Ministry to clear “pending claims from Air India for operating and maintaining” prime minister's aircraft.

AI operates Boeing-747 planes as Air India One whenever the prime minister goes abroad. There are pending bills with regard to the use of Air India planes for VVIPs.

The External Affairs Ministry also has to settle a Rs 188.91 crore bill with AI towards maintenance cost of B747 aircraft for VVIP movement.  Parliament's approval has been sought for a gross additional expenditure of Rs 40,821.88 crore, of which the Home Ministry will get an extra Rs 227.96 crore besides the earlier allocation of Rs 68,444.10 crore. The national carrier will also get an additional equity infusion of Rs 800 crore, for which the Finance Ministry has sought approval in the supplementary demands for the Civil Aviation Ministry.

Fighting financial stress, AI was allocated Rs 2,500 crore in the 2015-16 Budget. However, the allocation was short of the Civil Aviation Ministry's expectation of Rs 4,300 crore.

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