'Strongly opposed' to disinvesting of Air India: CPI(M)

'Strongly opposed' to disinvesting of Air India: CPI(M)

'Strongly opposed' to disinvesting of Air India: CPI(M)

The CPI(M) has “strongly opposed” the government nod for disinvesting of Air India, saying that it was not for saving public money but to sell national assets for a song to private companies.

In a statement, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau said that the decision has been taken at a time when, after prolonged losses since 2008, the airline has started achieving operating profits of Rs 105 crores for 2015-16 and an estimated operating profit of around Rs 300 crores in 2016-17.

“Air India was crippled and burdened with debt due to monumental miscalculation and certain wrong decisions taken by successive governments at the Centre. It is now being made the scapegoat and sought to be privatised,” it said.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave an “in principle” nod for divesting stakes in Air India and its five subsidiaries and formed a Group of Ministers under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to work out the modalities.

“The privatisation of Air India is being made with a bonanza to the perspective private buyer – the write off of the Rs 30,000 crore debt burden. The privatisation of Air India is not for saving public money but for handing over national assets for a song and defrauding the exchequer for the benefit of private companies, both domestic and foreign,” it said.

The CPI(M) said the sale of Air India is part of the overall privatisation drive of the Modi government which is “against national interest”. It must be stopped forthwith, it added.

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