Seeking immediate intervention from the government, in resolving the Jet Airways crisis, the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) has asked the government not to put pressure on banks for giving further loans to the carrier.
CH Venkatachalam, general secretary of one of the largest union of bank employees, in a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi says, "The attempts to side track the whole issue by building pressure on banks to extend further loan and save the company is only with a view to keep Naresh Goyal, the promoter of Jet Airways, out of the picture whereas he is the real man who is answerable for the whole crisis."
"Incidentally, everyone is looking to the banks to bail out the airline as though banks are the owners of the company. Mr Goyal is still the promoter and major shareholder with 51% of the shares with him and it is his headache to run the company or sell it someone. There are reports that most of the woes of the company are due to their own wrong and unwise business decisions and hence there should be a thorough enquiry into the affairs of Jet Airways and the wrongdoers should be punished," Mr Venkatachalam says.
Jet Airways is facing deep trouble on account of its financial difficulties caused due to various business decisions of the management of the airline, AIBEA says adding, "Banks have already extended credit of around Rs8,500 crore to Jet Airways and these huge loans have turned non-performing in view of the company not being able to service the loan in due time. This has not happened overnight and the airline has been facing problems for the past few years. Yet, Banks have been helpful with the hope that the company would soon come out of the problems. But it was not to be and the company is now in crisis for its survival."
Expressing concerns on Jet Airways' employees, AIBEA says, "...staff of the company have not been paid their salaries and the proposals of the banks to temporarily help to tide over the problem are not being accepted by the company."
"When such companies make huge profits, the same is paid as dividend to the owners on which no tax is payable to the government. But when they are in trouble due to their mismanagement, they expect banks to rescue them," the bank employees union contended.
AIBEA pointed out that the Bombay High Court too had declined giving a direction to the government to ask banks to extend further loans to the ailing carrier.
"We learn banks have invited bids to possible investors to take over the company.
If it does not happen and no bidder is willing to invest and take over the airline, we urge upon the government to take over the airline so that the jobs and future of the thousands of employees, most of whom are young, are safe and without jeopardy," the bank employees union concluded.