New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Several MPs cutting across party lines have expressed their support for the early revival of the now grounded Jet Airways, saying that they will again raise the issue in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
At an event hosted here by Jet Airways' Employee Consortium, MPs, including Aam Aadmi Party's Sanjay Singh, Manoj Jha of the RJD, Trinamool Congress' Dola Sen, BJD's Ramesh Chandra Majhi and Krupal Tumanhe of the Shiv Sena, said that they would again raise the issue faced by the airline's employees and seek a way forward from the government over the revival of the passenger carrier.
While Majhi, Singh and Jha said that they will raise the issue in the Parliament, Sen called on the employees to actively engage with the Ministries of Labour and Employment and Civil Aviation to find a solution.
In his address, Singh said the government had earned revenues worth thousand of crores of rupees from Jet Airways through taxes and now it can not pass off its responsibility towards the airline and its employees by saying that it is a private company.
On its part, the employee consortium said that India has lost a major airline brand operating long haul flights.
"No other Indian operator has been able to fill the void created by the absence of Jet Airways," the employee consortium said in a statement.
Further, it requested the government to increase the FDI limit in scheduled airlines through automatic route to expedite the resolution plan for Jet Airways.
"Very recently, the government has also provided assistance to telecom operators viz. Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and BSNL and a massive financial relief package to the real estate sector," the statement said.
"However, the government is yet to make such policy interventions in case of Jet Airways. The government is requested to urgently intervene and take measures like debt to equity conversion, if so desired by the investors, to expeditiously resolve the matter," it added.
Besides, the employee consortium also requested the government to engage with financial lenders "as has been done in case of DHFL, telecom operators and real estate sector and several others in the past".
"We also request the government to encourage the National Infrastructure Investment Fund for investment in Jet Airways which bodes well and complements the investments in aviation infrastructure," the statement said.
In addition, the employee consortium said that for revival of Jet Airways, "it is essential that the manpower, still on company payroll, should be retained."
"Towards this end, we request the government to facilitate the release of Rs 63 crore from Bangladesh to Jet Airways as revenue from ticket sales. Deposits of Rs 12 crore are lying with the Indian Postal Services which should be released," the statement added.
Running out of cash, Jet Airways had suspended its entire operations on April 17.
Currently, Jet is under the NCLT process, under which a committee of creditors has invited expression of interest (EOI) from potential bidders.
By Nirbhay Kumar
New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firms have topped the list of customers complaints list for over-charging ever since the new indirect tax regime Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out on July 1, 2017.
Restaurateurs came second, followed by entertainment and media firms.
As per official data, as many as 42 consumer complaints were registered against various FMCG companies with many of them found to be not passing the benefits of lower tax rates.
As GST rates were cut across various categories in the GST Council meetings to reduce tax incidence on consumers, the companies were expected to pass on the benefit by lowering prices in proportion to the rate reduction.
It was, however, found that many companies had not passed on the benefit of lower tax and indulged in profiteering. Complaints were later filed against them and the GST anti-profiteering watchdog National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) took up the cases.
Some of the FMCG majors like Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Procter & Gamble India (P&G) and Nestle were found to have profiteered from the lower tax regime.
In the latest case, the NAA last week ordered Nestle to deposit Rs 73.15 crore with Consumer Welfare Fund for not passing GST rate reduction benefit to consumers. The FMCG major has, however, said that it will consider appropriate action after studying the same.
Experts said that it is very difficult for FMCG companies to assess the exact impact of the lower tax given that they have multiple similar products in one category.
Moreover, they sell products for as low as Rs 2 for a shampoo pouch and when the rate is lowered they are not in the position to exactly assess the impact on price. Even if the assessment is done and it is found that the price should be lower by 30 paise, transaction becomes difficult as currency of that amount is not available.
"Because of multiple products of similar kind it is difficult for FMCG companies to arrive at a particular price. There are very small units like toffee selling for Re 1. In this case it will be very difficult to arrive at net impact of rate cut," said Amit Bhagat, Partner, Dhruva Advisors.
Besides FMCG, many restaurants are also facing complaints with 14 cases being lodged. Two complaints were filed against sanitary ware firms. Media and entertainment firms have six complaints against them.
(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)