Activists cry against taxpayer bailout for KFA, write to PM | india | Hindustan Times
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Activists cry against taxpayer bailout for KFA, write to PM

india Updated: Feb 28, 2012 02:57 IST
HT Correspondent

A group of eminent activists has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh objecting to a potential bailout of Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) at public expense.

"Mallya, famous for his extraordinarily expensive lifestyle, has driven this airline to bankruptcy by sheer mismanagement and bad financial planning," said the letter sent on Monday and signed and endorsed by Aruna Roy, advocate Prashant Bhushan, Praful Bidwai, RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal among others.

Meanwhile, Mallya, in a letter to employees of his bleeding airline, said he had “organised funding” to pay for the “seriously overdue salaries”. Mallya’s letter, sent on Sunday, did not make any mention of the source of the funding nor gave a timeline when employees, who haven’t been paid for nearly three months, would get salaries.

“The government seems set to ‘persuade’ banks to provide him yet another bailout to fund a company that has so far racked up almost R7,000 crore in losses, entirely funded by loans,” the letter to the PM said.

KFA, the letter said, owes several hundred crore rupees to public sector oil companies. “According to the auditors of KFA, undisputed amounts payable include TDS of R423 crore, service tax of Rs 10.5 crore, and fringe benefit tax of R4.5 crore were outstanding for a period of more than six months from the date they became payable,” it said.

Mallya wrote that the company was “handicapped” as its bank accounts were frozen by tax authorities and he was working tirelessly to resolve the issue. The KFA chairman also hit out at the media and the government.

“Government policies can make or break any Industry. So far it has been downhill for civil aviation except for one airline that defies the odds and claims to be profitable however unlikely that may be,” he wrote.