New Delhi: With the widely awaited Group of Ministers (GoM) meet on Air India meeting today for a two-hour long session on matters related to restructuring of the airline, it has now been madeclear that the government will look to infuse additional equity into the debt-burdened and cash strapped carrier only after March 2010. In the meantime, the state-owned carrier will have to show its honest intentions to reform by saving at least Rs2,000 crore for the financial through cost-cutting measures.
Speaking to reporters after the GoM meet, civil aviation minister, Praful Patel said, "We are broadly looking at equity infusion linked to its monthly performance parameters and we are only looking till March (2010). This is not the total equity infusion being looked at for Air India."
Based on the carrier's performance by the end of the financial year, the government would be "able to finally take a call at the end of March as to what will be the final support which the government will provide," Patel said.
Replying to a question, Patel said Air India "will have to provide a revenue enhancement and a cost-cutting programme to the extent of at least Rs2,000 crore by March which will be giving a direction on the way forward."
The airline, which has shown a net loss of Rs5,548.26 crore in 2008-09, is seeking equity infusion to the tune of Rs5,000 crore.
The GoM received a presentation on the carrier's restructuring plans from its CMD, Arvind Jadhav, and civil aviation secretary M Madhavan Nambiar.
The GoM, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, also has petroleum minister Murli Deora, home minister P Chidambaram and deputy chairman of planning commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia as its members.