New Delhi, Apr 27 - Two parliamentary panels have castigated the government over the precarious health of Air India, with one of them saying "unscrupulous and vested interests" had worked overtime to "suck the life out" of the national carrier.
Expressing concern over the critical situation facing Air India, the Committee on Estimates said it "cannot help but opine that unscrupulous and vested interests have worked overtime to suck the life out of this public enterprise".
"Failure to check its deterioration is nothing but utter callousness on the part of the government too," the Committee, headed by Congress MP Francisco Sardinha, said in its report in Parliament, while blaming the government for being "solely responsible for the company's financial woes".
Pointing at the huge losses, the panel said it failed to understand "how the situation was allowed to deteriorate to this extent despite the fact that Air India was once a showpiece PSU and a matter of pride for the government".
In its report tabled today, the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture said it was "disturbing" that Air India had been seeking financial help without even spending the entire amount allocated to it during the 11th Plan.
"The Committee is surprised to note that when the national carrier was knocking the doors of financial institutions to bail it out, it was unable to spend money it had been allocated during the 11th Plan period," the panel, headed by senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, said in its review of the Demands for Grants of Civil Aviation Ministry.
During the 2007-12 plan period, Air India spent Rs 25,603 crore against a total allocation of Rs 32,730.71 crore, leaving an unspent sum of Rs 7,127 crore, it said, adding, "This is a disturbing scenario." PTI