New Delhi: The salaries of Air India employees for September and October this year would be disbursed before Diwali (November 13) and productivity-linked incentive (PLI) for two months by the month-end at a total cost of almost Rs 500 crore.

"Air India has decided to clear payment of salary to all its employees for the months of September and October 2012 before Diwali. It will also make uptodate payment of PLI for all licensed category employees for the months of May and June," an official spokesperson said.

The PLI for the non-licensed category of staffers for the two months would be paid by the end of November, he said.

Air India would incur an expenditure of Rs 230 crore on salaries, Rs 200 crore for payment of PLI to licensed category of employees and Rs 60 crore to the non-licensed ones. The licensed categoryinclude the crew members and engineers.

Air India's decision came after Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh expressed concern over delay in salaries and asked Air India to make all efforts in future to make up-to-date payment of salary to the employees.

Singh's concern came in the backdrop of eight Air India unions threatening to wear black badges and hold rallies and gate meetings, accusing the management of "overlooking their legitimate rights" and delaying payment of back wages and other dues.

However, the unions have not given any strike threat. Air India pilots had gone on a 58-day strike over career progression issue from May 7.

PLI was abolished with effect from July this year after the government implemented the Dharmadhikari panel's recommendations on integrating the staffers of erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines.

The pay-scales and grades for non-licensed category of employees were fixed in accordance with the parameters for public sector undertakings as per the Department of Public Enterprises guidelines.


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