Thursday, January 20, 2011

Air India review meet to find formula for wage rationalisation

Within a week of conducting a comprehensive review of Air India, civil aviation minister Praful Patel will be in Mumbai again today for yet another review.

According to sources, the minister is likely to take up the issue of working out a new formula to rationalise wages.

Patel is believed to have presented a formula for wage rationalisation in his meeting with heavy industries minister Vilasrao Deshmukh last month, but Deshmukh wanted information from “a back date.”

“Deshmukh wanted details of how the wage rationalisation would be done, what formula would be used for the plan to freeze promotions and arrear payments for three years and how will performance linked bonuses be slashed. The heavy industries ministry wants Air India to work out a formula on back dates also… the minister is expected to discuss this with the AI management,” a source said.

Patel’s other request — of not dragging AI’s case to the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) — is also being reviewed by Deshmukh’s ministry.

Patel’s emphasis on working out a new wage rationalisation formula for Air India assumes significance since there is also talk of the national carrier setting up an HR committee to prepare a document covering compensation, ranks and work profile for its 30,000 odd employees.

All this while, glaring disparities between wages, productivity norms, work hours, etc between employees of the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines have remained despite several attempts to forge a uniform HR policy.

Now, the airline plans to implement a single union agreement for all employees. At present, the airline’s employees are governed by multiple pacts through 14 unions. These agreements have different wage structures and career progression paths, which the airline wants to harmonise.

3.Cabinet reshuffle: Jaipal gets Petroleum; Kamal Nath moved to Urban Development

New Delhi:  Sweeping changes to portfolios - a record 37 - but nobody was dropped in today's Cabinet reshuffle - a point stressed by a sniggering BJP soon after the announcements. After the speculation about whether there'd be dramatic changes, what the Prime Minister seems to have implemented is a game of musical chairs.

The big impact has been on economic and infrastructure ministries like Petroleum, Roads, and Rural and Urban Development, but ministers have traded places - so it's the same old faces now brandishing new portfolios.

Manmohan Singh  described today's reshuffle as minor, stressing, "There will be a more expansive reshuffle after the Budget." Government sources say that the reassignment of portfolios could be interpreted as a message from the PM against "crony Capitalism". Ministers in charge of economic portfolios who were observed to be close to select corporates have been transferred. Government sources also say that ministers seen as poor performers are now on notice and the next round of changes will apply the "perform or perish principle".

After petrol prices were raised six times in the last year, Murli Deora moved from the Oil Ministry to handle Corporate Affairs. "I couldn't have held onto Oil forever," he said, denying that he was disappointed with his transfer. Jaipal Reddy takes on Oil now, and Kamal Nath gives up Roads and Surface Transport to replace Reddy in the Urban Development Ministry. CP Joshi, who was Minister for Rural Development, will replace Kamal Nath to handle Roads. (In Pictures: Know your ministers)

Praful Patel has been promoted to Cabinet rank but instead of Civil Aviation, he has been assigned to Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, a ministry that some say may be too low-key for the high-profile NCP leader. Not true, said Patel. "I am very happy that I am a Cabinet minister. In any person's political career, it is important to rise in the political hierarchy and after 20 years in Parliament if I did not become a Cabinet minister and my juniors were moving ahead, it was, certainly very important, both personally and politically for me to become a Cabinet minister." (Watch: Praful Patel on his promotion)

Vayalar Ravi, the minister for Overseas Indian Affairs will hold additional charge of Civil Aviation. (Read: Ministers now promoted)

Kerala, UP handled with care

The four crucial ministries - Home, Finance, External Affairs and Defence - remained untouched. Despite the PM's interest in a younger Cabinet, no young MPs were inducted.

Also left out - key allies DMK and Mamata Banerjee's TMC. Sources say the elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal will decide how the political equation at the Centre is recalibrated.

However, UP and Kerala, both politically crucial for the Congress have got important additions in the Council of Ministers.

Two ministers from UP - Salman Khursheed and Sriprakash Jaiswal - have been given promotion and Cabinet rank. Beni Prasad Verma, also an important leader from UP, joins the Cabinet as Minister of State (MoS) with Independent charge. (Watch: Beni Prasad Verma in, thanks Rahul)

The Cabinet already has three ministers of state from UP.

Kerala benefited likewise. KC Venugopal was made Minister of State (MoS), Power.

KV Thomas, a prominent Christian leader in Kerala, now has independent charge of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Vayalar Ravi, already handling Overseas Indian Affairs gets additional charge of Civil Aviation and E Ahamed takes over as Minister of State for External Affairs,  a post vacated by Shashi Tharoor last year.

Other key changes

In other key changes, Sharad Pawar will be Agriculture and Food Processing Minister. He will not have charge of Food and Civil Supplies anymore. Kumari Selja will be Cabinet Minister, with additional charge of Culture and Subodh Kant Sahay has been moved from Food Processing to Tourism.

The Congress' Kapil Sibal who took over from A Raja after the 2G spectrum scam controversy forced the latter to step down, will stay on as Telecom Minister. He will also retain his Human Resources Development portfolio. He has been relieved of the Science and Technology portfolio which was given to him after Prithviraj Chavan was moved to Maharashtra as Chief Minister late last year. Veerappa Moily stays on as Law Minister, despite reports that the PM was not happy with his handling of the 2G controversy in court. Jairam Ramesh stays Environment Minister.

Promotions, losses and new faces

Among those taking their place in the ranks of Cabinet ministers are Salman Khursheed and Sriprakash Jaiswal. Khursheed gets his promotion and moves to Water Resources, with additional charge of Minority Affairs. And Shriprakash Jaiswal keeps Coal and is elevated. (Cabinet reshuffle: New Faces)

Ajay Maken has been given independent charge as Minister of State of Sports, a ministry that MS Gill has lost after the CWG mess. Gill will be Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Virbhadra Singh has lost the important Steel portfolio and got the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises portfolio. 

KC Venugopal from Kerala and Ashwani Kumar from Punjab are new Ministers of State. Ashwani Kumar will be junior minister for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. Ashwani Kumar is known to enjoy the Prime Minister's confidence and was a minister in the UPA 1 government. KC Venugopal will be in the Power Ministry. (Read: Complete list of changes)

No political message, says BJP

The BJP was quick to react saying the Government had failed to send out a political message. BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain pointed that the "government has failed to act against the corrupt" and that it had merely moved those ministers from one bhavan to another. (Watch)

Cabinet ministers:

Sharad Pawar: Agriculture and Food Processing Industries
Virbhadra Singh: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Vilasrao Deshmukh: Rural Development and additional charge of Panchayati Raj
Jaipal Reddy: Petroleum and Natural Gas
Kamal Nath: Urban Development
Vayalar Ravi: Overseas Indian Affairs and additional charge of Civil Aviation
Murli Deora: Corporate Affairs
Kapil Sibal: Human Resource Development and additional charge of Communications and Information Technology
B.K. Handique: Development of North-Eastern Region
C.P. Joshi: Road Transport and Highways
Kumari Selja: Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and additional charge of Culture
Subodh Kant Sahay : Tourism
M.S. Gill: Statistics and Programme Implementation
Pawan Kumar Bansal : Parliamentary Affairs and additional charge of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences

Minister of State (Independent Charge):

Dinsha Patel: Mines

Ministers of State:

E. Ahamed: External Affairs
Harish Rawat: Agriculture and Food Processing Industries
V. Narayanasamy: Parliamentary Affairs and Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Prime Minister's Office
Gurudas Kamat: Home Affairs
A. Sai Prathap: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
Bharatsinh Solanki: Railways
Jitin Prasada: Road Transport and Highways
Mahadev S Khandela: Tribal Affairs
R.P.N. Singh: Petroleum and Natural Gas and Corporate Affairs
Tusharbhai Chaudhary: Road Transport and Highways
Shri Arun Yadav: Agriculture and Food Processing Industries
Shri Pratik Prakashbapu Patil: Coal
Shri Vincent Pala: Water Resources and Minority Affairs

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Friday, December 10, 2010

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pilots who faked flying hrs now operati Pilots who faked flying hrs now operating commercial flightsng commercial flights? Read more:

JAIPUR: At least five of 14 ''under-trained'' pilots from the Rajasthan Aviation School may be flying hundreds of passengers on commercial airlines, police said on Friday. 

An anti-corruption bureau probe has revealed these pilots, who were given flyng licences without fulfilling the requisite flying hours, were working with Indian Airlines, JetLite, SpiceJet and a few yet-to-be identified airline companies. 

Addl SP, ACB, Bhupendra Yadav, who is investigating the case for the past five months, claimed that names of at least 14 pilots have come up who were issued CPLs (commercial pilot licence) fraudulently by chief flying inspectors of the Rajasthan state flying school, Sanganer Airport, Mohindar Kumar Chaudhary and his counterpart atHaryana Institute of Civil Aviation, Hisar, Mahavir Singh Beniwal. 

The additional general manager of Sanganer International Airport's air traffic control Manoj Jain was also suspected to have colluded with the the two. The three officers are now in judicial custody. 

''Preliminary investigations suggest that at least five of the 14 persons including Rahul Yadav, Anup Chaudhary, Amit Mundra, Nitin Jain and Rajesh Marani are working as pilots with airline companies including Indian Airlines, SpiceJet and JetLite,'' said Bhupendra Yadav. He said that others including Neeraj Kumar, Sahil Malik, Priyeta Sharma, Sanjeev Gupta, Rajesh Mehta and Nidhi Vashistha are either engineers or are working in various departments of airline companies. 

One Pallavi Hemaserg is working as an assistant pilot instructor in Nagpur. While Manoj Dhaka has migrated abroad, one Sumit Jain is said to be unemployed at present. ACB has already arrested one of these trainees, Rahul Yadav, who claims to have already flown 1,000 hours. ''These pilots will be arrested in course of investigation,'' said IG, ACB, Umesh Mishra.