"There are private airlines and there is a public sector company. Public sector does have a place and a lot of countries have public sector companies. As of now, we are trying to formulate our views," Pusapati told his maiden press conference, hours after taking charge of office.
"I am not closed to any idea," he said when repeatedly asked whether he would favour privatisation of the state-run airline.
Later, he also said, “State-run companies in several countries do function rather well. Somehow for us, it has not happened that way ... but we have to examine all aspects... Air India is a public sector undertaking. It has its pluses and minuses. How to develop it, we have to look into. We would neither hurry into things nor drag our feet."
Asked whether the new dispensation would probe all decisions taken by the previous UPA-II government, Pusapati said, "There is no point in dissecting or doing a post-mortem. We have to first formulate our own thinking about the issues."
However, the minister also pointed out that the previous government had "made a lot of commitments" in a variety of areas. "If anyone has to honour all those commitments, then there should have been no change in the government.
He said several airlines were under financial stress, but the country needs more airlines.
Soon after taking over, he said, "We will strive to create a level-playing field for all the players and make the aviation sector more people-oriented."


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