Budget 2019: Rs 4,500 cr earmarked for Aviation Ministry in 2019-20

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The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman addressing a Post Budget Press Conference, in New Delhi on July 05, 2019. The Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur and the Secretary, Finance and Department of Economic Affairs, Shri S.C. Garg are also seen.

The Centre has allocated Rs 480 crore for regional connectivity scheme UDAN. 

The Aviation Ministry has been allocated Rs 4,500 crore in the Budget for the current financial year, which is 115 per cent less than Rs 9,700 crore that was given to it during 2018-19 fiscal.  According to Budget documents released on Friday, the Centre has allocated Rs 480 crore for regional connectivity scheme UDAN, under which the “proposal is for revival of 50 airports and Viability Gap funding for North East Connectivity”. 

In 2018-19, the UDAN scheme was given Rs 441 crore. The Centre has allocated just Rs 1 lakh in 2019-20 for the “turnaround plan for Air India”, as compared to Rs 3,975 crore that was given to the national carrier in the last financial year, as per the documents. The Air India Asset Holding Ltd, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), has been set up as part of financial restructuring of the debt-laden national carrier. 

According to the documents presented in the full Budget for 2019-20, the government has decided to allocate Rs 2,600 crore for the SPV this fiscal. “The provision is kept for servicing of loan transferred to SPV as a result of financial restructuring of Air India,” the documents stated. Rs 1,300 crore was provided to the SPV during the previous financial year. Air India had a total debt of over Rs 58,300 crore by the end of 2018-19. 

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