Air India Privatization: Employees can either join PSUs or avail VRS
As Air India moves towards privatization, the central government wants to safeguard its employees. And in order to retain them, they are exploring the option of accommodating them in other public sector enterprises. Although a final decision is yet to be made, the possibility of having a VRS package is also under consideration.
“Various options are under consideration to protect the interests of the employees,” civil aviation secretary R.N.Choubey told media.
Air India and its subsidiaries have around 29,000 employees, including those on contract. And the carrier’s accumulated debt that stands at about 50,000 crores and the decision to allow 49% foreign stake in it can have serious implication on these employees. The fear of these implications has been one of the major reasons for various Air India unions to be opposed to the divestment plan. Even Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagaran Manch have shown their disagreement towards this move.
“Permitting 49% FDI in Air India brings the airline at par with other domestic carriers and does away with the preferential treatment that was extended to the national carrier,” said Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
While efforts to ensure a smooth strategic disinvestment are being made and a group of ministers continue weighing various options a substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in an Indian national. Thus safeguarding the interests of the talent associated with it.