Recast signal for Air India pay norms

New Delhi, Jan. 4: The pay structure of Air India's pilots and cabin crew may be restructured. Inter-ministerial consultations are on and the proposal will be tabled before the cabinet.

The proposal is likely to save the national carrier over Rs 320 crore annually.

The draft note for the proposal was based on the recommendations of the Justice DM Dharmadhikari Committee to bring about parity among the employees of the two erstwhile state-run airlines ' Air India and Indian Airlines.

The pay scales and allowances for employees will be fixed according to the guidelines of the department of public enterprises, while those for pilots, engineers, cabin crew and technicians will be on the basis of industry norms.

Air India's annual wage bill is around Rs 3,200 crore of which Rs 1,750 crore is spent on wages and allowances for licensed category employees such as pilots, cabin crew and engineers.

"Restructuring of allowances for licensed staffers is estimated to save Rs 200 crore, while those for the non-licensed ones can save Rs 120 crore," said a ministry official.

The Dharmadhikari panel had recommended that productivity-linked incentives should be replaced by profit/productivity related pay to encourage efficient working of employees.

The flying allowances may also be uniformly fixed for all pilots for a guaranteed 70 hours a month as is the norm in other domestic and international airlines. Difference in flying allowances for pilots of Air India and Indian Airlines had been a major reason for the 58-day strike by Air India pilots last year.

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