New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) The central government for six months should pay the salaries of blue collar workers, who are employed with aviation sector companies, said a top official of the GMR group, which operates the Delhi and Hyderabad airports.
The aviation sector has been hit hard due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, and during the last few weeks, all Indian airline companies have either fired employees, sent them on leave without pay or cut their salaries in order to reduce their cost.
K Narayan Rao, Deputy managing director, GMR Group, said at a webinar that 'in the aviation sector, there is a complete chain whether it is airlines, airports or the hotel industry”.
“It is time that we tell the government to at least work out how many blue collar workers are losing jobs because of these circumstances,' he said.
Rao said that at least, for them -- blue collar workers – “you (government) bear their salary from special funds”.
“You are helping so many migrant labourers and farmers. You don't need to support big people but... you bear their (blue collar workers) salaries for six months from some welfare measure. That will give a big boost,' he said.
Rao was a participant of the webinar titled 'Saving Airlines and Allied Industries - Saving Jobs' and it was organised by travel conglomerate Bird Group and the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25, when the Modi government imposed nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
Earlier this week, the government had announced that domestic passenger flights will resume in a calibrated manner from May 25.
Executive director, Bird Group, Ankur Bhatia, at the webinar said, “A limited number of flights have been announced. Though the move will not earn the kind of revenue airlines need to stay afloat, a start has been made.” “Now the focus should be on phased escalation of flights in alignment with the SOPs (standard operating procedures) passed by the ministry,' he said In a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on April 1, Anand Stanley, Chairman, FICCI Aviation Committee, had said, 'One of the major challenges faced by the aviation industry is that cash reserves are running down quickly as fleets are grounded and flights are not operational in the past few days. Many airline companies are almost at the brink of bankruptcy.' Stanley is also president and managing director of Airbus India and South Asia. PTI DSP ANB ANB