IPG losing grip on pilots, two more join work

Air India has so far lost more than Rs200 crore due to the agitation by over 200-odd pilots who have not been flying for the past 14 days

Mumbai: Cracks in the 14-day-old agitation by a section of Air India pilots resurfaced on Monday with the airline management claiming that two more of the agitating pilots have returned to work, taking the total number of "sick" pilots resuming work to five, reports PTI.

"Two members of the now derecognised Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) resumed duties today," an Air India spokesperson said.

Earlier last week, the management had said three pilots, including two IPG members, who had been reporting "sick" had returned to work.

The IPG, however, denied that any of its pilots had deserted them and claimed that, on the contrary, three more pilots have reportedly joined the agitation.

"The pilots who have resumed today, as claimed by the management, are not IPG members. On the contrary, three of our pilots, who were on a two-week temporary posting to Dubai have reported sick on their return to Mumbai yesterday evening," an IPG member said.

The airline has so far lost more than Rs200 crore due to the agitation by over 200-odd pilots who have not been flying for the past 14 days.

The government wants the pilots to first to join back duties and then come to the negotiating table to resolve their issues, while the IPG maintains that the management should first take back 71 sacked pilots, as a pre-condition to end their agitation.

Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had on 19th May appealed to the agitating pilots to return to work, promising that their demands would be considered within three months and assured them that the government would not be vindictive.

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Punjab to disburse welfare funds online

The Punjab government has adopted the EBT model under which cash benefits to be disbursed to the beneficiaries would be directly transferred to their accounts

Chandigarh: The Punjab government has issued instructions to directly credit cash in the bank accounts of beneficiaries under various welfare schemes through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system to check delays and redtapism, reports PTI.

Informing this the state's Social Security and Health Minister Madan Mohan Mittal said the SAD-BJP alliance government in consultation with Reserve Bank of India has adopted the EBT model under which cash benefits to be disbursed to the beneficiaries would be directly transferred to their accounts.

Social Security Department had been giving cash benefits under various schemes like Shagun Scheme, Old Age Pension, Bebe Nanki Kanya Scheme and other financial assistance and it was felt that beneficiaries were facing problems due to late disbursal of amounts, cheques issued on wrong names or cheques issued after expiry of cheque, he said.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal opined that late disbursal of financial assistance defeated the very purpose of such schemes and directed Finance and Institutional Finance Departments to coordinate with RBI and other banks for online credit of financial assistance, Mr Mittal said.

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