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Conspiracy to derail privatisation: Air India pilots to Puri

“This deliberate and unethical agenda of creating Industrial Disharmony reeks of a vested interest and a conspiracy to sabotage the National Carrier and derail the process of privatization”, the pilots have told Puri.

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Hardeep Puri

New Delhi, July 27 : Seeking an urgent meeting with Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Air India pilots have alleged a conspiracy to sabotage the national carrier and derail the process of privatisation.

In a letter to Puri, Indian Commercial Pilots Association and Indian Pilots Guild said, “It is evident from the Press Conference dated 16th July 2020 that the officials briefing you have Grossly Misinformed you about the Current state of affairs at Air India. The pay cut is NOT across the board and you are being misled”.

“This deliberate and unethical agenda of creating Industrial Disharmony reeks of a vested interest and a conspiracy to sabotage the National Carrier and derail the process of privatization”, the pilots have told Puri.

Pilots have pointed out that basic pay, HRA and DA constitutes 80 per cent of gross pay for general category employees while the same constitutes 20 per cent of gross pay for pilots. Allowances form 80 per cent of pilots’ gross pay in Air India.

“The current industry standard in India is a cut of 15-23 per cent on gross salary i.e cost to company. However, the Air India management is trying to show cost cutting by slashing cherry picked allowances instead of a fair cut on gross wages (the true cost to company of an employee). They have safeguarded their perks, privileges and entitlements while shifting extreme financial burden on the pilots”, the letter said.

“We request you to kindly grant us an Urgent Meeting so we may brief you on the ground reality and prevent this travesty. Rest assured we have the best interests of Air India at heart”, the pilots told Puri.

Business

Healthcare sector revenues likely to grow by 20% in FY22: ICRA

he risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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New Delhi, Jan 19: Even as the healthcare sector witnessed squeezing of revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, its long-term outlook remains stable on the back of swift rebound in occupancy as well as structural factors, ICRA said on Monday.

The rating agency expects the occupancy of companies in the sector to bounce back substantially to 60 per cent in FY22, from the estimated occupancy of 52 per cent in FY21, and the revenue growth to be at 20 per cent in FY22, against an estimated contraction of 19 per cent in FY21, aided by a lower base as well.

There has been significant sequential improvement in occupancy every month after the sharp fall in April and the pent-up demand is also likely to support the performance, as elective procedures cannot be delayed indefinitely by domestic as well as international patients, the report noted.

Due to the high operating leverage, the EBITDA margin is likely to rise to 13 per cent in FY22, against an estimated EBITDA margin of 9 per cent in FY21. The capital expansion was already slowing down, even pre-Covid, and is likely to remain modest in FY22 as the players have adequate capacity to grow over the medium term and the near-term focus is on better utilisation of the existing facilities rather than expansion of the network.

Consequently, the capex as well as startup costs of new hospitals are likely to be much lower going forward, which will also aid profitability. The net debt is expected to stay largely range-bound, but the debt protection metrics is likely to improve significantly due to a sharp rise in accruals, ICRA said.

According to Kapil Banga, Assistant Vice President, ICRA: “The credit risk profile of entities in the sector had been on improving the trajectory over the last two years and notwithstanding the near-term disruption due to the pandemic, as well as given the essential nature of the services, ICRA believes the sector will resume on its growth trajectory in FY22. The risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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India

Air India Express deploys robotic technology to disinfect aircraft

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New Delhi: Air India Express on Thursday said that it has become India’s first airline to introduce robotic technology to disinfect and clean aircraft interiors.

The airline on Thursday used a robotic device fitted with an UV lamp system to disinfect one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft at Delhi airport.

At present, UV-C disinfection system is identified worldwide as one of the most effective forms of disinfection.

“This technology is tested and approved by NABL laboratory for its efficiency to disinfect the surfaces from germs, bacteria and viruses,” the airline said in a statement.

“Air India Express has tied up with ground handling agency AISATS to launch this technology in India as it is important that surfaces commonly touched by both passengers and crew are disinfected and kept clean.”

The robotic device, fitted with a collapsible arms, is specifically designed to disinfect aircraft seats, under-seat areas, inside overhead baggage compartment, aisle ceiling, window panels, cockpit instrumentation area, overhead switch panel and interiors from viruses and bacteria.

In addition, the airline plans to extend this technology for its aircraft operating from other airports in its network in the country.

–IANS

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Industry

Industry body lauds BSNL’s move towards Indian equipment for 4G

On Friday, BSNL had issued a notice saying that it would test the quality of Indian telecom equipment before letting indigenous manufacturers participate in the 4G tender to be floated by the company.

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New Delhi, Jan 3 : The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has lauded state-run BSNL’s move to test India-made telecom equipment before allowing indigenous manufacturers participate in the 4G tender to be floated by the company.

Terming the move as the right direction in fulfilling the vision of self-reliant India, PHD said that it would ensure level-playing field for all indigenous technologies and also strengthen India’s cyber security preparedness.

In his letter to Anshu Prakash, the Secretary of Department of Telecommunications (DoT), PHDCCI Telecom Committee’s Mentor and Telecom Export Promotion Council Co-Chairman, Sandeep Aggarwal noted that although the cost may be high initially, but eventually the move would lead to higher GDP, high tax collection and employment generation.

“The government may have to shell out some higher cost to buy indigenous technologies through its wholly-owned subsidiary i.e. BSNL initially, but within a few years, it will reap 100s of billion dollars’ worth of additional GDP and huge tax collection on top of adding highly paying jobs for the tech India and the manufacturing sector,” he said.

Aggarwal, however said that Indian manufacturers having been largely sidelined from the bulk of the 4G telecom business of ‘Core’ and ‘RAN’, may not be able to match the pricing of the “hugely competitive, subsidised, politically and militarily motivated” technologies developed by the Chinese, and American companies.

“The game changing requirement of only Indian source code with unrestricted and irrevocable access to BSNL/DoT for the offered ‘Core’ and depositing of Indian/Foreign source code of ‘RAN’ in an escrow account shall mean full control possibilities by the Indian government against any current and prospective misuse of 4G equipment for snooping.”

He was of the view that the latest move of BSNL and the government’s ‘National Directive on Security’ will ensure level playing field for all indigenous technologies and ensure that this time, the Indian companies do not lose out on the business.

On Friday, BSNL had issued a notice saying that it would test the quality of Indian telecom equipment before letting indigenous manufacturers participate in the 4G tender to be floated by the company.

The BSNL plans to procure equipment for 57,000 sites for 4G services.

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