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Alternative mechanism in place to look into Air India disinvestment, says Hardeep Singh Puri

The Civil Aviation Minister said there was already 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in several areas of the civil aviation sector but the budget had pointed out two specific sectors for FDI -- maintenance and repair and leasing

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: July 20, 2019  | 23:36 IST
Alternative mechanism in place to look into Air India disinvestment, says Hardeep Singh Puri

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said there would be no compromise on the safety of passengers and stressed that the narrative that airfares were shooting up was wrong.

Speaking at the 12th International Conference-cum-Awards on Civil Aviation and Cargo hosted by the ASSOCHAM, Puri also said an alternative mechanism was worked out to look into the disinvestment process of state-owned Air India.

He lauded the Union budget and said there was already 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in several areas of the civil aviation sector but the budget had pointed out two specific sectors for FDI -- maintenance and repair and leasing.

Puri said he was currently working on a 100-day programme and a five-year vision document for both the housing and urban affairs and the civil aviation ministries.

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He said his instructions to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was not to compromise on security.

"The DGCA knows its job. I do not know what the DGCA had been doing earlier, but as far as I am concerned, my instructions are simple on safety that there should be no compromise.

"They have to do an analysis of every incident. Let us hope that these incidents that have been reported in the last few weeks do not happen in the future. I found out that there was only one recovery kit in the country and the civil aviation authorities have ordered two more," the minister said.

He added that capping airfares would amount to distorting the system.

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"We are going at 17 per cent let aside these four months that were affected adversely due to the non-operation of a scheduled large operator. We have more than recovered.

"The other system is operating the routes and all the talks I hear about airfares shooting up is a false narrative. The airlines are bound by a system where they put on their websites the range of fares from the lowest to the highest," Puri said.

The minute airfares were capped, it would amount to distorting the system, he stressed.

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