New civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju wants Air India to pull up its socks if it wants to evade selloff
Sweta Ranjan | November 15, 2014
The beleaguered national flag carrier may soon get privatised. The Maharaja carrying a red balance sheet may not remain a public entity. In an exclusive interview to Governance Now P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, civil aviation minister, clearly said the government was seriously considering the issue of privatising Air India. He said, “Air India is an airline. Once upon a time an airline which had the largest number of aircraft. Probably, it still has the largest reach within India. So it has its strengths. On the economic side, it has a red balance sheet, which is a major impediment there, and whatever decisions they have taken, a large number of them do not make commercial sense. In that sense the airline is burdened. We are not against or for public sector. They have to perform.” Asked if the government was clear about the privatisation of the Maharaja, he said, “Yes why not? It’s one of the options. There are few options available. This could be one.”
Don’t you think it should remain as a public entity?
Why, what is the thing? What is so sacrosanct (about Air India)?
But the challenge is to turn the loss-making public entity into a private one.
The challenge aside. What should be the focus of the government…?
To make it profitable…?
It has to be a sustainable airline. This paramount (point) we should keep in mind. How it is managed, how it is owned, I think, is immaterial.
Who do you blame for the disaster?
I don’t want to blame anyone.
The work culture…?
The work culture has a lot to do with it. How you motivate a team is important and where your focus ought to be. I am not against public sector at all. I won’t be able to justify this to the country. So, they will have to pull up their socks and they will have to work.
All major airlines operating in India, except IndiGo, none of them is making profits.
One should have a business plan. IndiGo is also flying in the same skies.
What difference you see when you compare Indigo and Air India work culture?
When we look at it, we find all people working in IndiGo take pride in their job. I have traveled as a passenger in IndiGo. I have traveled as a civil aviation minister also in IndiGo, they fly on time. They take pride in their work. Somehow, I don’t find the same pride (among Air India employees). So, if you take pride in your work you do that much better. In today’s context it is basically hospitality industry. Customer has to feel good. There are people who feel good on Air India, there are also people who do not feel good.
Maya Kodnani, a BJP leader who was the MLA from Naroda when this locality on the outskirts of Ahmedabad witnessed one of the most gruesome episodes during the Gujarat riots of 2002, was acquitted by the Gujarat High Court on Friday. Her acquittal in the Naroda Patiya massacre case is only a sequel to
The number of civic complaints with BMC has increased from 61,910 in 2015 to 92,329 in 2017, which is 49% in two years. A report titled ‘Civic Issues Registered by Citizens and Deliberations done by Municipal Councillors in Mumbai’ released by Praja Foundation has found some interesting facts a
Atishi Marlena is among the nine AAP functionaries who were dismissed by the union home ministry asserting that their posts were created without the approval of the centre. Marlena, served as education advisor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government in Delhi. While she was intrumental in improving the
The Fortune magazine has named three Indians – lawyer Indira Jaising, industrialist Mukesh Ambani and architect Balkrishna V Doshi – among the world’s greatest fifty leaders.
Remember Kardashev scale? For the uninitiated, it’s a method of measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement, based on the amount of energy it is able to use for communication. We will get to its unconventional relevance to the big urban questions at the end, but just keep it a
Out of 1580 MPs and MLAs with criminal cases, 48 (three MPs and 45 MLAs) have declared cases related to crime against women. The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and