New Delhi [India], June 11 (ANI): Terming his remarks “ill-informed” and shocking” Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday shot back at the senior Congress leader KC Venugopal for hitting out at the Centre over “skyrocketing airfares” and said Indian economy is in the pink of health.
Lashing out at the Prime Minister Modi-led BJP government, K C Venugopal said that PM’s remarks that people wearing hawai chappals (slippers) can now travel in aeroplanes sounds like a “cruel joke”.
In a point-wise rebuttal, Scindia said the Indian economy continues to stand as a beacon of hope at a time when the global economy continues to struggle.
In a series of tweets, the Congress leader highlighted six points and wanted to know whether the government had any intervention planned to check these airfares.
“These skyrocketing airfares are creating havoc among the middle class. The government’s complete free pass to the airlines, coupled with their rampant privatisation spree, is responsible for the dire situation today. The @MoCA_GoI must confront some hard facts,” tweeted KC Venugopal.
Responding to Venugopal, Minister Scindia said the govt has advised airlines to self-regulate their fares under a certain limit.
“As former Minister of State for Civil Aviation, it is highly shocking that @kcvenugopalmp
Ji has made such undiscerning & ill-informed remarks on the aviation sector. We have advised airlines to self-regulate their fares under a certain limit – the result of which is that prices have come down by 14%- 60% since 6th June 2023,” Scindia tweeted.
In another point flagged by the Congress leader, Scindia said that the sector has been truly democratised under the leadership of PM Modi.
On Venugopal questioning why did the ministry allow the flight prices from Bhubaneswar and Kolkata to go out of control when the Balasore train tragedy took place. “Again, I would like to update you that within 24 hours of the Odisha incident, an advisory was sent by MoCA to all airlines to monitor any abnormal surge in airfares to and from Bhubaneswar. In a separate high-level meet, airlines were advised to keep a tight check on the pricing of air tickets, especially in times of calamity”.
On Venugopal questioning, “With Go First collapsing, and with SpiceJet barely flying any routes, why did the government have no strategy to correct this massive dip in the number of flights being flown?”.
“A portion of the routes that were earlier being served by GoFirst have already been allotted to other airlines. Also, you have chosen to turn a blind eye to the immense growth that this sector has witnessed since 2014. Passenger count which stood at 122 Million in 2014 is currently at 280 Million – a jump of 130%! Under UDAN, we have operationalised 475 routes and flown over 116.06 Lakh passengers,” Scindia said.
“PM Modi famously said that those wearing ‘Hawai Chappals’ can travel on a ‘Hawai Jahaaz.’ With Delhi-Mumbai flights crossing Rs. 15k+ everyday, his words sound like a cruel joke,” Venugopal said on twitter.
Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday said that airfares on certain routes from Delhi have been considerably reduced by 14 to 61 per cent following the airlines’ advisory group meeting held on June 6. (ANI)
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