No plans to offer fuel discounts to Air India: Oil Min

No plans to offer fuel discounts to Air India: Oil Min New Delhi: The government has no plans to offer discounts on jet fuel (ATF) sales to loss-making national carrier Air India, which already has accumulated Rs 4,324 crore in unpaid fuel bills, the Lok Sabha was informed Friday.

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaaka Lakshmi replied in negative to a question, when asked if the government proposed to provide discount to Air India on fuel sales.

In a written response, she said Air India owes state- owned oil companies Rs 4,324 crore in oustanding fuel bill as on February 28, 2013. Of this, Rs 2,038 crore was overdue outstanding excluding interest and another Rs 2,753 crore overdue outstanding with interest.

Air India owes Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Rs 2,545 crore, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) Rs 779 crore and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) Rs 1,000 crore, she added.

Lakshmi said aviation turbine fuel (ATF) is not under the purview of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Boarrd (PNGRB).

Earlier this month, the minister had told Parliament that unlike private carriers such as Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, Air India has not given any security as insurance against default.

Air India had a total outstanding of Rs 4,277.11 crore as on December 31, 2012, of which a sum of Rs 2,639.65 crore is overdue payment.

Overdue payment is the outstanding that has remained unpaid even after expiry of a 90 day credit or grace period provided by the oil companies.

As on December 31, Jet Airways owed Rs 910 crore to IOC but of this only Rs 107.52 crore is overdue. The rest is under 90-day credit period that oil companies extend to Jet and other airlines including Air India.

Jet owned Rs 112.06 crore to BPCL, of which Rs 31.29 crore was overdue. Its outstanding with IOC was covered by a Rs 923 crore bank security which can be encashed in case of default in payment. The outstanding of BPCL has been covered by Rs 150 crore security.

Kingfisher ran an outstanding of only Rs 66.72 crore with HPCL. All of this is overdue payment but it is covered by a Rs. 200 crore corporate guarantee, she had said.

Go Airlines' Rs 115 crore bank guarantee covers for its Rs 112.53 crore outstanding with IOC while Spice Jet's Rs 91.23 crore outstanding is covered by a Rs 95 crore bank guarantee.

PTI