‘AI-IA merger could have been better implemented’

Aviation minister admits that execution of the merger process has not been up to the mark

Civil aviation minister Praful Patel has suggested that the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines could have been better executed but for "a kind of sabotage from within.”

Asked about criticism of the merger, he said, "I concede that the merger could have been better executed and implemented. There has been even I would say a kind of sabotage from within. People did not want to see it to be implemented well.”

“But the basic concept has been going on since the time of JRD Tata. A couple of times well-meaning people had attempted to merge the two as it made business, economic and technical sense,” he said.

"There are no two opinions about whether the merger was required or not. This was not a knee-jerk reaction. It was well thought-out, well-planned and made immense economic sense," Mr Patel said, reports PTI.
He said the merger was done after consulting secretaries and committees.

The minister said that the government took a “conscious decision” based on valid technical inputs. “The intentions were good but maybe the execution has not been up to the mark,” he admitted.

Mr Patel said that the government as of now intends to run Air India as a State-owned carrier.

Asked if the government had any intention of privatising or disinvesting Air India, he said, “I cannot speak about policy until some decision is taken by (the) government. As a personal opinion, I can say that most national carriers across the world have not done well.”

"Considering that, Air India has still come a long, long way and has retained its national carrier status,” he said.

"Someday, the government may take a different decision. As of today, we intend to run it as a national carrier, as (a) State-owned (airline)," Mr Patel said.

On the completion of Mumbai airport, Mr Patel said that though the project was 18 months behind the Delhi airport, when it is completed it would match the latter in terms of being “truly world class.”

"Mumbai and Delhi are not going to be different in terms of standards and state-of-the-art terminals. But Mumbai has a peculiar problem of rehabilitation of a large number of people living in the airport vicinity,” Mr Patel said.

He said that 20,000 slum-dwellers would be rehabilitated in “permanent, very good” houses just two kilometres from the airport.

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    Shadi Katyal

    10 years ago

    The ques ion to ask is what would an aviation Minister know about any PSU merger? Does anyone in his Ministry have dealt such merger.
    We are a nation where we keep bumbling around in every field because we do not have a single party who can form a govt and thus in the present situation we give Ministry to anyone of any party. Who cares if the country suffers at least they get a pound of their Flesh.
    Wh7y not expose such criminality acts.Will such marriage survive but one doubts as more funds will be needed to drowned fleet.
    Used to be a Maharaja airline but now worst than a third class compartment.
    It is fear of unions and excessive baggage of manpower which will sink the ship

    P C Choudhury

    10 years ago

    All teh Minister of Civil Aviation had to do was take the employees on board the nerger process. He has talked to everyone except the employees. The issue of merger was further damamged because he failed to keep his promise that the best practices of the two airlines were adopted and teh employees were taken to a common acceptable platform , the so called "sabotage from within" would never have happened. It is sad that a dynamic entreprenuer like Mr Praful Patel who himself is a business has not thought about it. The govt. and AI management wants to have the cake and eat it by not looking into the employees grievances and resolving them. "sabotage from within is bound to happen when there is heartburn within (COPU report). Mere creation of grievance cells by AI management (as reported in newspapers) will not help.

    JSW Steel plans to invest $6 billion at Bellary plant

    Steelmaker plans to expand manufacturing capacity at its Karnataka unit to 16 million tonnes

    Steelmaker JSW Steel plans to expand its manufacturing capacity at its Bellary plant in Karnataka from 10 million tonnes (MT) to 16MT with an investment of $5 billion-$6-billion, a top company official has said, reports PTI.

    "We have decided to expand steel manufacturing capacity at our Bellary plant from 10MT to 16MT at an investment of $5 billion-$6-billion (around Rs20,000 crore-Rs25,000 crore) in the next three-years," JSW Steel's vice-chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

    “We are also looking at investing in infrastructure to develop roads, railways and power plants at our Bellary unit,” Mr Jindal said, adding that the company is presently working on the details of these investments.

    “We have already invested close to Rs40,000 crore in the Bellary plant and will continue to invest in Karnataka due to the proactive policy of the Karnataka government," he said. “Our investment in Karnataka is the largest compared to other units.”

    "The upcoming ports and extensive railway networks will help industries to grow in the State. The new mineral policy by the Karnataka government is also a positive initiative," Mr Jindal said.

    Steel prices could go up, he said, as raw material prices have risen substantially. "There is a huge cost-push because raw material prices have gone up substantially," he said.

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    10 years ago

    i want to knw about jswstell

    Mittal predicts 21% jump in steel prices

    ArcelorMittal’s CEO forecasts a drastic increase in prices for benchmark hot-rolled coil

    Lakshmi Mittal, chief executive officer of ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, has stoked a row over how global prices are set by telling consumers that raw material costs may push steel rates up by 21%.

    "The cost of producing steel is going to go up and will be passed on to customers," Mr Mittal said in an interview, reports PTI.

    Benchmark European hot-rolled coil prices will rise by $150 a metric tonne in the second quarter, he said. Steelmakers are passing on costs after Vale SA, the largest iron-ore producer, scrapped a four-decade system of annual price-setting and boosted prices for Japanese steelmakers as much as 90%.

    Carmakers, the biggest users of steel, are crying foul.

    The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, which represents companies, including Volkswagen AG, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat SpA, said that members want EU regulators to “tackle distortive developments” caused by the changes from mining companies.

    “The necessity to increase prices is generating the ire of customers and a bitter battle is raging,” said Christian Georges, an analyst at Olivetree Securities who has tracked industry and resources for 15 years.

    Mr Mittal's forecast for benchmark hot-rolled coil would mark a 21% jump from levels now of about $700 a tonne, based on Metal Bulletin data. The coiled steel is used by firms from Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s biggest carmaker, to Royal Philips Electronics NV, the largest lighting company.

    Eurofer, a group representing steelmakers in Europe, accused the biggest iron ore suppliers of “illicit coordination of prices” and said it had notified the regulatory arm of the European Commission about possible anti-competitive practices. It said that a shift to shorter contracts for iron ore at higher rates may boost costs for their customers by as much as a third.

    “Steel producers will have to pass these rises on to the consumers,” Eurofer director-general Gordon Moffat said in a phone interview. “It's going to create a great deal more volatility in prices.”

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