Debt-stressed Air India has yet again delayed the disbursement of salary to its employees. The staff of the state-run carrier has not received their salary for July - making it the fifth consecutive month when salary is not credited on time. According to a PTI report, the national carrier, which is facing acute financial crunch, is yet to issue any specific communication on when the payments are likely to be made.
Air India has more than 11,000 permanent staff and it generally disburses the salaries by 30th or 31st of every month.
On July 26, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told the Lok Sabha that there was a short delay in the payment of salaries for May and that the same was paid subsequently. "Salaries have been paid to all employees, including the salary for the month of June, 2018, which was paid on July 2, 2018," the Minister had said.
After Air India defaulted on salary in May, one of its pilots' unions had urged the management to ensure that the situation is not repeated in the future. "It is disheartening to note that the salaries have again been delayed for the month (May). This is for the fourth consecutive month that this has been happening....this definitely does not augur well for any organisation, especially an airline," the Indian Commercial Pilots Association had said.
"We request you to make sure that the present situation is not repeated in the future and we look forward to having a conducive atmosphere for the turnaround," it said in a letter to the management on June 11.
Earlier in June, Air India had sought proposals for short-term loans worth Rs 1,000 crore to meet urgent working capital requirements.
The government is in the process of injecting Rs 980 crore in ailing national carrier during the current financial year. Last week, Reuters reported that Air India had sought Rs 2,121 crore of additional equity from the government for 2018-19 to make pending payments to its vendors.
In the current fiscal, the state-run airline received an equity infusion of Rs 650 crore till June. It has borrowed Rs 6,250 crore from various banks between September last year and January this year for immediate requirements and other needs.
(With inputs from PTI)