India

Govt. owes Air India over ₹325 cr. for VVIP flights

Mumbai: A view of the Air India building in Mumbai on Thursday. India's InterGlobe Aviation, owner of IndiGo airline, has shown unsolicited interest in buying a stake in state-owned carrier Air India. PTI Photo(PTI6_29_2017_000259B)

Mumbai: A view of the Air India building in Mumbai on Thursday. India's InterGlobe Aviation, owner of IndiGo airline, has shown unsolicited interest in buying a stake in state-owned carrier Air India. PTI Photo(PTI6_29_2017_000259B)

The government owes over ₹325 crore to cash-strapped Air India with bills pending for VVIP chartered flights to foreign countries, according to an RTI (Right to Information) response.

The national carrier, which is on the verge of being privatised, has provided details of pending bills towards various Ministries responsible for the VVIP visits in its latest response to a query by Commodore (Retd.) Lokesh Batra.

The reply dated March 8 shows that bills for ₹325.81 were pending as on January 31. Of this, ₹84.01 crore have been carried forward from the last financial year while the remaining ₹241.8 crore are from this year.

Air India provides Chartered aircraft for VVIPs — the President, the Vice-President and the Prime Minister. The bills are to be paid from the exchequer. The response from Air India said the highest outstanding of ₹178.55 crore was from the External Affairs Ministry, followed by the Cabinet Secretriat and the PMO (₹128.84 crore), and the Defence Ministry (₹18.42 crore).

The reply stated that outstanding bills of ₹451.71 crore were carried forward while bills of ₹553.01 crore were generated this year — a total of ₹1,004.72 crore. Of this, the government made a payment of ₹678.91 crore this year.

The payment of ₹678.91 crore includes ₹367.7 crore paid towards ₹451.71 crore bills carried forward from last year and ₹311.23 crore towards bills of ₹533.01 crore generated this year. After the payment, the outstanding as on January 31, 2018, stands at ₹325.81 crore.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2022 2:46:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-owes-air-india-over-325-cr-for-vvip-flights/article23042626.ece