Alleging that government was clandestinely working on allowing foreign players 24% to 26% equity in Indian airlines, BJP on Wednesday warned that such a step would destroy domestic aviation industry and asked the UPA dispensation to clear the air on the issue.
"What we are hearing about efforts to bail-out a particular loss making airline is not the full story. There are reports that government proposes to allow 24% equity in Indian airline companies while department of industrial promotion and policy (DIPP) is suggesting 26%," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
He sought a clarification from the government on the issue and claimed that this will lead to cartelisation. "This policy may suit one company but the end-product will be cartelisation by foreign airlines. The day this is done, that too clandestinely, there will be complete annihilation of civil aviation industry in India," he said. The former union minister for civil aviation insisted this would lead to "complete take over" of Indian companies by the foreign airlines.
BJP also asked the government to clarify whether it was mulling exempting loss making Indian airline companies from flying on routes which are not financially lucrative. Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya had complained that his company was making losses as it has to fly on loss making routes. "Ten per cent of the flights by every Indian airline have to be flown in the North-East, Jammu and Kashmir sectors and to the islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshdweep. But now a company reeling under losses has challenged this. It is a matter of concern as flying on these routes is essential as per the rules," Rudy said.