New Delhi: Now government babus and ministers will not be able to enjoy free travel from Air India. Air India has stopped the credit facility on air tickets after it became part of the Tata Group. That is, now the officers or ministers of the Government of India will not be able to travel for free from the airline Air India. Those government officials will also have to pay, whose travel expenses are borne by the Government of India. Along with this, the government has asked all ministries and departments to clear the debt-ridden Air India dues immediately and buy tickets only in cash from now on.
The government had earlier this month decided to sell Air India to Tata Group’s holding company Tels Pvt Ltd for Rs 18,000 crore. The Department of Expenditure under the Ministry of Finance, in a 2009 order, stated that in cases of air travel (both domestic and international), including LTC, where the Government of India bears the cost of the air route, officers can travel by air only to India.
Nirmala Dev, Director, Government of India, said that the process of disinvestment of Air India and Air India Express is underway and the airline has discontinued the credit facility for air tickets. Therefore, all Ministries/Departments are directed to clear Air India dues immediately. Buy air tickets in cash from all government Babu Air India till further instructions.
Tata Sons founded this airline 90 years ago. The group acquired 100 per cent stake by bidding for Rs 18,000 crore to buy it. The government has approved the bid of Tata Sons this month. Tuhin Kant Pandey, secretary of the central government’s Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which is responsible for privatization of state-owned companies, had said in the past that a special unit (SPV) of Tata Sons is the holding of the Tata Group. The company is the successful bidder. In the race to acquire Air India, Tata Sons had overtaken SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh-led conglomerate.