Alleging that the ongoing Air India strike resulted from the “mess created by choice” by the government and the top management of the airline, BJP today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to share details of the situation in the civil aviation sector in the last five years.
“The Prime Minister had said from the ramparts of the Red Fort on this year’s Independence Day that we are giving careful attention to problems of Air India and will resolve them...He should bring out a white paper on the overall mess created by choice in last five years and who is responsible,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
He accused the government and the top management of Air India for the problems faced by the airline and questioned the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines.
“Air India and Indian Airlines were merged with the promise that there would be a Rs 1,200 crore profit by 2010 but today there is a loss of Rs 5,000 crore,” Mr. Rudy said.
“The executive pilots of Air India have alleged that there is an attempt to sabotage the airline and said the strike has been imposed on them. An attempt has been made to create a wedge between the employees,” he added.
Mr. Rudy accused Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav of working with a grouse against certain sections of employees.
“There is a complete disconnect between the aviation minister, the Air India management headed by the CMD, and those who run and operate the airline,” he said.
The former Civil Aviation Minister said the Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) for Air India employees had been cut by 25 to 50 per cent.
He said Air India had earned the reputation of an entity not having any accountability.
“The Air India management was misleading the nation. The CMD is running it in a non-professional manner. Air India has become a laboratory and experimental ground for civil aviation. In the process the passengers are suffering and their plight has surmounted,” Mr. Rudy said.
The BJP leader sought to know the government’s version on recent reports about shutting down one airline to help in “market correction” and making the civil aviation sector profit-making.
He claimed that the era of high connectivity and low-cost air travel had been frittered away by the UPA government.