Government Adds Air India Employees to EPFO, Notification Takes Effect From January 01

The decision to shift Air India employees to EPFO came after the employees voluntarily agreed to transfer their existing funds with trust to EPFO.

Highlights:

  • Shifting to EPFO will provide better returns for the employees.
  • Tata Sons is headhunting for Air India, will hire senior officials.
  • Central Government has a debt of Rs 300 crores to Air India against the purchase of VVIP and other government official tickets.

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The employees of Air India and Indian Airlines will now come under the ambit of Employees Provident Fund Organizations (EPFO). The ministry scraped off the two notifications dated February 1962 and January 1963 that counted them under an exempted trust managed by the national carrier so far. Coming under EPFO will provide the employees with better returns than they were under the trust. The decision will come into effect from January 1, 2022.

The decision to shift them to EPFO came after the employees voluntarily agreed to transfer their existing funds with trust to EPFO.

The government is currently in the process of disinvesting its stake in Air India. Tata Group has won the bid to acquire the airline. Tata Group will take a Rs 23,000 crore ($3.02billion) loan to fund its acquisition and operations. With the procedures of disinvestment nearing its closure, Tata Sons is said to be hiring key executives for the airlines.

According to a report by the Mint, the Indian airline industry is generally facing a dearth of mid-level and senior-level officials. The new airline Akasa, slated to launch in April 2022, requires 65 senior management staff at the VP level or equivalent. The airline is also said to be on the hunt to find 21 senior financial officials, 25 senior executives in planning divisions, and 18 in aero political divisions.

Government employees are no longer required to fly by Air India 

Keeping aside the hiring hurdles, the government is ending Air India’s monopoly over flying millions of government employees after privatisation. The airline was offering ministries credits for purchasing air tickets. According to information received through RTI to The Hindustan Times, the central government’s due to Air India in terms of both VVIP flights and travel by officials stood at Rs 300 crores. Rs 34 crore was due for VVIP flights, and Rs 269 crore for tickets of officials. With such massive dues, Air India, too, had stopped offering the credits. The government employees needed to book with the former national carrier in sectors it serviced.

The three state-owned companies Balmer Lawrie, Ashoka Travels and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), will continue to handle all ticket bookings for government employees.

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Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain.

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