INTERNATIONAL

Rs. 325-crore budgetary support to Indian Airlines

NEW DELHI, MARCH 14. Nearly a decade after the Kelkar Committee's recommendations, the Government has allocated Rs. 325 crores as budgetary support to the Indian Airlines in the 2005-06 fiscal linked to its purchase of 43 new aircraft from Airbus Industrie, for which negotiations are in the final stages.

The approved 2005-06 Plan outlay for the IA had been fixed at Rs. 911.73 crores, of which Rs. 325 crores would go for purchase of these aircraft as part of its fleet acquisition programme and the balance Rs. 586.73 crores would be met through internal and extra budgetary resources of the company, an official spokesperson said today.

The approved allocation for Air India for the same period was Rs. 468.74 crores, of which a token provision of Rs. 10 crores has been made to finance the fleet induction of the airline. Air India is yet to take a final decision on the matter.

Of the Rs. 911.73 crores for the IA, Rs. 112.44 crores has been allocated towards repayment of loans to banks and financial institutions for the acquisition of A-320 aircraft earlier.

Another provision of Rs. 36.56 crores has been made towards support facilities of the IA, including construction of workshop and engineering facilities, computer and communication systems and renovation of booking offices.

The fleet plan of the IA has been cleared by the Public Investment Board and the fresh proposal, after being finalised by the company's negotiating committee, is expected to be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

Of Air India's approved Plan outlay of Rs. 468.74 crores, Rs. 1 crore has been provided as budgetary support while the remaining amount would be met out of internal and extra budgetary resources of the company, the spokesperson said. While a provision of Rs. 308.74 crores has been made for repayments of loans for acquisition of six Boeing 747-400 aircraft and an Airbus 310-300 simulator, a token provision of Rs. 10 crores had been made for the new aircraft to be inducted by the AI.

Another Rs. 150 crores had been allocated for non-aircraft projects like ground handling equipment, engineering and workshop equipment, security equipment, computers and office equipment, the spokesperson said.

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