Companies & Sectors
Kingfisher cancels 31 flights as employees’ strike, board to meet today

A section of Kingfisher Airlines' employees, including pilots and engineers are not reporting for work to protest non-payment of salary

 
Mumbai: Kingfisher Airlines on Wednesday cancelled over 30 flights from Delhi and Mumbai due to a strike by a section of its employees protesting non-payment of salary, reports PTI.
 
While 22 flights of the airline were cancelled from Delhi, nine were cancelled from Mumbai, sources said.
 
A section of its employees, including pilots and engineers are not reporting for work to protest non-payment of salary, they said.
 
Meanwhile, the board of the near-bankrupt airlines is meeting in New Delhi today to discuss finances ahead of the announcement of quarterly results.
 
"The airlines' board is meeting at a five-star hotel in south-west Delhi this afternoon to discuss finances," the sources said.
 
The airline's operations have been disrupted time and again since April when pilots called off work protesting salary delays.
 
Kingfisher Airlines, which has been facing fund-crunch for almost a year now, has not paid salary to its staff for the past five months. A sizeable number of its employees have not been paid since February.
 
"We just can't work without being paid for such a long time. Hence the decision (to strike work)," a pilot has said.
 
The decision of airline employees to go on agitation coincides with the monsoon session of the Parliament that starts today.
 
"We hope that the strike will pull the attention of Parliament and our plight and misery echoes in political corridors," an employee said.
 

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Maharashtra appoints two officials to same post in goof-up

The state government appointed senior Excise officer Surve and Osmanabad's SP Karale as director-vigilance in the Excise Department, all within a span of five days

 

Mumbai: In a major goof-up, Maharashtra Government has appointed two senior officials to the top post in Excise Department, raising questions over coordination among various concerned departments, reports PTI.

 

The state government issued orders for appointment of senior Excise officer Prasad Surve and then Osmanabad's Superindent of Police (SP) Datta Karale, as Director Vigilance in the state Excise department, all within a span of five days.

 

While Surve's orders were issued on 8th June, Karale's orders were issued on 13th June, Home Department sources said.

 

When Karale went to take charge, he was informed that Surve had already assumed office a couple of days earlier.

 

In the process, the Government has also done away with the convention of having a police officer to head the sensitive vigilance wing in the Excise department, sources said.

 

Senior police officers head vigilance posts in government departments like MHADA, state electricity board, RTO, Sales Tax, MSRTC, Legal Metrology, FDA, and Cotton Federation, the sources said. Same was the case with Excise Department, before Surve was appointed, they added.

 

As per the convention, the vigilance cell heads of the Excise Department should be an SP or DCP level police officer, sources said. In this case, the convention has been violated, they added.

 

However, in Surve's case, within a few days, he was promoted and posted as vigilance chief.

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Revive AERA appellate tribunal within a week: HC to Centre

With AERAAT being defunct, the FIA had filed an appeal in the High Court against an 24th April decision of AERA by which DIAL was allowed to have a 345% hike in its aeronautical tariff for the IGI Airport

 
New Delhi: The Centre has been ordered by Delhi High Court to revive within a week the defunct Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) that decides aeronautical tariff disputes failing which the plea for stay of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA)'s three-fold hike in airport levy here would be heard, reports PTI.
 
"It is expected that Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) would have got the recommendation and notify the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (AERAAT) within a week or so. So that the matters like this do not suffer," said Justice Sunil Gaur after being told that so far, the appellate tribunal has not been constituted.
 
The three-member appellate panel, AERAAT, which hears appeals against tariff decisions of regulator AERA, is defunct as its initial two-year tenure expired in June this year.
 
As AERAAT is not functioning, the appeals of the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) and the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), an industry body that represents airlines, against the recent tariff decisions are in limbo.
 
During hearing, Justice Gaur said, "...it is made clear that in case, today's order (of constituting AERAAT) is not complied with, then the application (of FIA) for stay (on tariff hike) would be heard" and fixed the matter for further hearing on 21st August.
 
The Ministry of Civil Aviation, represented by Additional Solicitor General Rajiv Mehra, had earlier told the court that it has already started the process to revive AERAAT.
 
With AERAAT being defunct, the FIA had filed an appeal in the High Court against an 24th April decision of AERA by which DIAL was allowed to have a 345% hike in its aeronautical tariff for the IGI Airport.
 
Earlier, the FIA counsel had sought a stay on the AERA order saying the exorbitant hike, allowed by it, in the aeronautical tariff has made the IGI Airport the costliest airport in the world.
 
"The airlines industry, which is going through a bad patch, is finding it difficult to cope up with the pressure and some of the companies may become sick," he had said.
 
The FIA, in its plea, had alleged the AERA's order allowing GMR-promoted DIAL to increase the tariff by 345 percent was "unlawful" as it was hiked without following the basic norms of the regulated sectors, like performing independent audit prudence check, to do it.
 

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