‘Clear dues towards Air India immediately’: Centre directs ministries, departments
The Union ministry of finance on Wednesday directed all ministries and departments to immediately clear all their dues towards Air India, explaining that the debt-laden national carrier, the bid for which, earlier this month, was won by Tata Sons at ₹18,000 crore, has stopped extending credit facilities on account of air tickets.
All ministries and departments, till further orders, will purchase Air India flight tickets only in cash, the ministry said.
“Recently, the Government of India has decided to disinvest Air India, the process of disinvestment of Air India and Air India Express is ongoing. It has stopped extending credit facility on account of purchase of air tickets. Therefore, all ministries/departments are directed to clear Air India's dues immediately. Air tickets from Air India may be purchased in cash till further instructions,” an order from the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, read, according to news agency ANI.
“Ministries/departments are directed to bring out these instructions to the notice of their subordinate offices/institutes etc. under their administrative control, for their compliance,” it further said.
The Department of Expenditure, in July 2009, instructed government officials that in cases of air travel, for both domestic and international routes, including Leave Travel Concession (LTC), in which the Union government pays for the journey, they may fly only on Air India.
The deal with Tata Sons will result in the Centre giving up its 100 per cent ownership in the national carrier, as well as 50 per cent stake in AISATS, to the Tatas. AISATS is a 50-50 joint venture between Air India Limited and SATS Limited, Asia's leading gateway services and food solutions provider. The venture provides services in ground and cargo handling at major Indian airports.
(With agency inputs)