The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) vehemently protested the government’s plan to allow 100 pc Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in scheduled Indian carriers as it could pose a serious security threat to the country’s national security.
Allowing foreign firms to completely claim a local aircraft could have genuine security suggestions, other than offering ascend to different issues, the FIA has advised the government. “The decision to relax the foreign investment norm (in aviation) to 100 pc is unprecedented. No substantive country allows this,” the FIA wrote in a current letter to the government. “By India permitting 100 pc foreign direct investment (FDI) in scheduled airlines, the Indian government will have no visibility on where control lies. Such a move could also have serious repercussions on India’s national security.”
As per the FIA, such “foreign owned and controlled domestic airlines” will likewise increase unhindered access to resistance airfields. Last year, remote financial specialists, with the exception of abroad aircrafts, were permitted to claim up to 100 for every penny stake in neighborhood air transporters by changing the nation’s FDI directions.
Nonetheless, existing standards order that significant proprietorship and viable control (SOEC) of an aircraft must rest with Indian nationals, and the chairman and 66 pc of the board of directors of the carrier must be Indian citizens. “It must be noted that permitting 100 pc FDI in scheduled airlines and removing the SOEC requirement skews the creation of a level playing field,” the FIA stated.
The aircrafts’ affiliation likewise said the choice to permit remote bearers possess carriers in India will make a discriminatory focused environment. It included, “If India dilutes the SOEC provisions (as proposed), foreign airlines will be allowed access to bilaterals from their country to India and also bilateral from India to their country. This will create a very inequitable competitive environment for Indian carriers.”
“Such foreign owned and controlled ‘’Indian’’ airlines will also gain unhindered access to defence airfields in India. In this connection, it is also pertinent to note that countries, whose diplomatic relations with India are strained, may also use this window (of opportunity) to gain access to India,” the FIA stated in an earlier letter.
The news comes at a disturbing time when the union minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju declared the poor financial condition of Air India as a major concern. The minister stated, “Air India’s finances are very bad, impoverished part of Air India has to go, but we are looking at all alternatives to revive it. Nothing can be ruled out, want AI to survive, priority will be that; don’t want it to become history,” hinting at possible privatisation of the premiere airline.