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Praful Patel to meet PM on Air India crisis

IANS
Jul 21, 2009 at 01:57pm IST

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said in New Delhi on Tuesday that he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this week to discuss the appointment of independent directors to the board of Air India in a bid to revive the ailing national carrier.

"I will be discussing names of eminent people who can give time and make a turnaround of Air India with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this week," Patel told reporters.

The minister added that SBI Caps was working out a revival programme for the cash-strapped airline.

MR FIXIT: Aviation minister Praful Patel wants to make a strong turnaround of cash-strapped Air India.

"There is too much of talk of Air India asking for funds. We are not looking for money. We are keen on equity infusion. There will be a strong turnaround of Air India," Patel said, adding that "there are systemic problems".

National Aviation Company of India Ltd, which operates Air India, had submitted a proposal last October for equity infusion of Rs.1,231 crore and for a soft loan of Rs.2,750 crore with an interest of around five percent, which it could pay over 15 years.

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