Air India appoints five new part-time directors

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) The government Monday appointed five new part-time directors on the Air India board to help the national carrier achieve targets set in its turn around plan (TAP) and financial restructuring plan (FRP).

“To use their (new directors) specialised skills and valuable suggestions for achieving the targets set by the government in the turn around plan (TAP) and financial restructuring plan (FRP) for Air India,” the civil aviation ministry said in a statement explaining the reason for the new appointments.

According to the statement, the five non-official, part-time directors are ex-chief executive of Procter & Gamble India Gurucharan Das; vice chancellor of ITM University, Gurgaon, Dr. Prem Vrat; Air Marshal (Retd.) K.K. Nohwar; economics professor IIM, Ahmedabad, Dr. Ravindra H. Dholakia; and Renuka Ramnath, chief executive of investment advisory firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management Private Limited (Multiples).

The development comes after the airline reported that its net loss for the last fiscal has come down. The national carrier had incurred Rs.5,198.55 crore worth of net losses for the last fiscal from a net loss of Rs.7,559.74 crore in 2011-12.

The losses of the cash-strapped passenger carrier are expected to come down by Rs.1,209 crore in the current fiscal due to cost-cutting measures adopted by it under a recommendations of an expert committee.

The targets TAP and FRP were approved by the union cabinet last year.

Air India has borrowed some Rs.21,412 crore towards acquisition of new aircraft, another Rs.22,368 crore towards working capital and owes around Rs.2,000 crore to oil retailers, besides facing accumulated losses worth Rs.22,000 crore.

The government has reiterated that it will not infinitely support Air India with tax-payers’ money if it does not perform as per the turnaround plan (TAP) and FRP.

The TAP and FRP, which were prepared by the Air India management in consultation with the State Bank of India’s (SBI) advisory arm SBI Caps and vetted by consultancy firm Deloitte, include equity for cash deficit support of Rs.4,552 crore till fiscal 2021.

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