Bank unions on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take over grounded Jet Airways to secure the future of the 22,000-odd employees of the carrier.
In a letter to Modi, the All-India Bank Employees Association also said the government must ensure that banks are not forced to lend to the crippled airline.
AIBEA general secretary C H Venkatachalam said that banks had already extended credit of around Rs 8,500 crore to Jet Airways and these loans had turned non-performing since the company had not been able to service them.
“This has not happened overnight and the airline has been facing problems for the past few years. Yet, banks helped the company in the hope that it would soon come out of the problem. However, it was not to be and the company is now in fighting for its survival,” he said.
“Incidentally, everyone is looking to the banks to bail out the airline as though banks are the owners of the company,” said Venkatachalam.
“The attempts to sidetrack the whole issue by building pressure on the banks to extend further loans and save the company is only with a view to keep Naresh Goyal out of the picture whereas he is the man who is answerable for the whole crisis,” Venkatachalam alleged.
He also sought an enquiry into the affairs of Jet Airways and said that the wrongdoers needed to be punished.
The airline owes more than Rs 8,500 crore to banks and around Rs 4,000 crore to its vendors and aircraft lessors and months of salaries to the employees apart from thousands of crores of rupees in ticket refunds to passengers. That apart it has an accumulate loss of over Rs 13,000 crore.