FDI in Air India, retail trade against national interests: CITU


New Delhi, Jan 11 (UNI) The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Thursday condemned the Union Government’s decision to allow 49 percent FDI in the country’s national carrier, Air India.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved 49 percent FDI in Air India and 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail sector.

The Left union said that the Modi Government had already decided to privatise Air India and now permitting 49 percent FDI would expedite the move.

“This is nothing but complete foreignisation of the national carrier ? a public sector company with its huge asset base and a high-revenue earning international service network”, the Union said in a statement.

The Government is justifying the privatisation move by highlighting the huge loss made by the airline. The government is, however hiding the fact how Air India was pushed into a bad situation, thanks to disastrous decisions imposed on it by successive governments at the Centre, the Union alleged.

“Hasty merger of Indian Airlines and Air India, forcible procurement of huge fleet of aircraft from foreign companies through direct purchase at an in-opportune time thereby imposing on the company an unbearable burden of indebtedness leading to loss”, the CPI (M) affiliated union said.

The CITU pointed out that Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, comprising of representatives of all the political parties including BJP, had unanimously recommended not to privatising Air India.

The CITU also lashed out at the Centre that when privatisation of national assets becomes the main goal of the Government then such destructive decision of foreignisation of national carrier is being taken by the Govt completely unconcerned of the national interests.

It also said by allowing 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail trade will further increase the hardship of traditional retail trade sector which is the second biggest livelihood giver after agriculture and expedites the ruin of the traditional retail trade sector.