In an apparent bid to strengthen the financial position of Air India, Government on Monday substantially increased the allocation for its holding company, NACIL, by about Rs 4,029 crore in the interim budget.
In fact, almost the entire increase in allocation for the Civil Aviation Ministry was cornered by the National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL), with the airline firm being earmarked Rs 8,165.64 crore, up against the revised estimate of Rs 4,136.89 crore for 2008-09.
The Ministry received a total allocation of Rs 12,164.76 crore, compared with the revised 2008-09 estimate of Rs 7,490.06 crore, a hike of almost Rs 4,675 crore.
The move came in the backdrop of Air India seeking enhancement of its equity and a soft loan to meet the growing expenditure on its ongoing aircraft acquisition programme in which it is in the process of buying 111 planes.
However, the amounts earmarked for state-owned firms like Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHHL), Hotel Corporation of India (HCI) and Air India Charters Limited showed a decline in comparison with the budgetary allocations made last year.
A provision of Rs four crore for salaries and other administrative infrastructure was also made in the non-plan budgetary allocation of the Ministry for the newly-created Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), whose Chairman and two members are yet to be appointed.