Vol. XLII No. 48 December 02, 2018

CITU Condemns Moves to Privatise Air India & Airports

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in a statement issued on November 28, has condemned the desperate bid of the government of India to privatise Air India, piece by piece, in favour of the private corporate –  foreign and domestic.

As reported in the press, the government has decided to go for strategic sale of 100 per cent stake in Air India’s ground handling subsidiary, Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL). The government has been pushing through privatisation of this profit making subsidiary unit of Air India, which has earned a profit of Rs 334 million in 2016-17 with a revenue generation of Rs 6.2 billion. The government has embarked on privatising its profit making subsidiary AIATSL after its hell-bent effort to privatise Air India as a whole failed to get any response. Similar moves of privatisation in respect of its other profit-making subsidiaries cannot be ruled out in the days to come, since the government of the day is desperate in outright sale of strategic public assets and infrastructures by any means and at any cost. It is totally unconcerned of its disastrous impact on national interests.

And the same desperate move of the BJP government at the centre to transfer public assets and infrastructure to private hands on a platter is also revealed by the government’s move to privatise six major airports of the country at Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru. All these airports were modernised with huge expenditure of hundreds of crores of rupees from national exchequer through the Airports Authority of India. And now these modernised airports, all in the state capitals, are being sold out to private corporate, thereby empowering them with unfettered rights and authority to also utilise the huge land assets under these airports for commercial purposes including building hotels, shopping malls etc. It is nothing but loot of the crucial infrastructure, and exploitation of huge land assets at their disposal for private profit. 

CITU denounces such desperate moves of the BJP government to sell out public assets and infrastructure on a platter to private entities particularly when it is just having couple of months left for its present tenure. CITU asserts that such desperate bids of all-out privatisation of everything  by the BJP government in a hurry must be resisted and CITU calls upon the working class to unite and fight such anti-national moves of sell-out and privatisation. CITU is confident that the working class will give a befitting reply to such retrograde moves of the government through massive countrywide general strike on January 8-9, 2019.