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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Cabinet to take up Air India wage restructuring soon


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) may soon take up the proposal to restructure allowances for Air India staff. This whole exercise aims to save over Rs 320 crore annually for the Government-owned company.

“The Civil Aviation Ministry floated a draft note for Inter Ministerial consultation. As soon as this process is over, it will be taken up for consideration before CCEA,” a senior Government official told Business Line. This draft is based on the recommendation given by Dharmadhikari Committee, he added.

At present, Air India’s annual wage bill is approximately Rs 3,200 crore out of which Rs 1,750 crore is spent on wage and allowances for licensed category employees such as pilots, cabin crew and engineers. Restructuring of allowances for pilots, cabin crew and engineers is likely to save Rs 200 crore while those for non-licensed category may save another Rs 120 crore, he said.

A key proposal is to end the difference in paying flying allowance for the all categories of pilots (Commander, Captain and First Officer) between Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines. Sources indicated that the proposal is to pay flying allowances uniformly to all pilots for a guaranteed 70 hours a month as per the practice followed by various domestic and international airlines.

At present, under an interim arrangement, erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots are given guaranteed 72 hours flying allowance at rate ranging between Rs 2,064 and Rs 5,270 with extra flying allowance at the rate of 150 per cent of applicable rates. Pilots belonging to Air India get flying allowance for minimum guaranteed flying 80 hours.

Another proposal is related with layover allowance for pilots.

This is given at the rates ranging $1,600-$ 2,050 for stay at an international destination between two flights. Now the proposal is to give such an allowance that is applicable to Central government employees.

CABIN CREW

For, cabin crew, the proposal is to give flying allowance at the rate of Rs 250-Rs 1,000 for a minimum 70 hours. At the same time engineers are proposed to be given emoluments comparable to industry standards besides additional component up to Rs 1.50 lakh.

According to information tabled in the Lok Sabha, Air India has paid salaries to all categories of its employees till October 2012.

The licensed category of employees have been paid the PLI till June 2012 (which was payable in July 2012). The flying and other allowances payments to licensed categories for July 2012 onwards are yet to be made.

The non-licensed category employees are yet to be paid the PLI for June 2012 (which was payable in July 2012). Effective July 2012, PLI to all categories of employees has been abolished

Source : Business Line

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