Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh told Lok Sabha on Wednesday said whatever might be the outcome of the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM), which is looking into the financial restructuring of Air India, the government would find out ways and means to pay the wages of its employees soon.
Dr. Singh was intervening in the debate on the revival of Air India in the House wherein the members expressed their concern on the plight of the national carrier which could not even pay wages of June and July and productivity-linked incentive since May to the staff.
Though Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanasamy was replying to the question on behalf of Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi, as the latter had sore throat, Dr. Singh intervened when the members continuously highlighted the non-payment of wages as Mr. Narayanasamy’s reply could not pacify them.
Dr. Singh said that Air India was facing serious difficulties was an open secret. A GoM was looking into the financial restructuring of the air line so as to bring it back to normal. It did not even have resources to pay the salaries and wages of the employees. “Whatever be the outcome of the GoM decision, the government will find some ways and means to pay the wages of the employees soon.”
Earlier, Yashoda Raje Scindia (BJP) charged that the situation of the national carrier was such that those employees who had taken car loan or housing loan were not able to pay their equated monthly instalments properly.
Some of the opposition members lambasted the government on the fate of Air India and charged that the problem cropped up mainly because all the profitable routes had been given to the private airlines. The employees were literally starving and on the verge of poverty because of non-payment of salaries right from Pilots to the staff in the class three and four categories. A few members even suggested that the airlines could be wound up instead of spending crores for its revival. Hindu