Employees union asks Delhi High Court to stop Pawan Hans divestment

Employees union asks Delhi High Court to stop Pawan Hans divestment

During the financial years 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 PHL earned a profit of Rs 73.03 crores, Rs 71.51 crores, Rs 61.67 crores and Rs 36.92 crores respectively. PHL has paid a dividend of Rs 245.51 crores to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India and ONGC to date besides improving its business portfolio with a positive net worth of Rs 984 crores. All India Civil Aviation Employees Union alleged that the winning bidder i.e. M/s Star9 Mobility Private Ltd, a consortium consisting of M/s Big Charter Private Limited has just two ATR Aircraft [Own 26 per cent of the SPV] and M/s Maharaja Aviation Private Limited [Own 25 per cent of the SPV] has three Robinsons [Smallest helicopter with the capacity of passengers used for student or wedding purposes] and M/s Almas Global Opportunity Fund SPC [Own 49 Percent of the SPV], an opportunity fund set up under the jurisdiction of Cayman Island has no expertise or knowledge of the aviation industry.

The All India Civil Aviation Employees Union has petitioned the Delhi High Court to have the Central government’s notice requesting expressions of interest dated December 8, 2020, for the proposed strategic disinvestment of the whole equity stake of 51% in Pawan Hans Limited, set aside (PHL). Petitioner Union, through Advocate Satya Sabrawal, is also seeking orders for a Court-monitored probe into the respondents’ disinvestment process/methodology, which it claims is arbitrary and unlawful. Advocate Satya Sabarwal in the petition submitted that PHL is not a burden on the Central Government or to the public exchequer by any stretch of argument. The Union government erred in treating PHL like other loss-making CPSEs. The plea further stated that Pawan Hans Limited has been consistently making a profit and paying dividends to the Central government.

Petitioner Union further saw that the proposed disinvestment is inimical to the interests of the employees, who have been on the payrolls of PHL for decades and who have given up other career options because they wanted to be a part of a Central PSU. Furthermore, as per the balance sheet of Pawan Hans Limited the amount to be received from other states [Trade receivables] alone till March 31, 2021, is Rs 177 crores and as per the knowledge of the petitioner, the same is over Rs 230 crores for the Financial Year 2022. The same is not accommodated for the purpose of valuation by the Respondents for the purpose of disinvestment, said the plea. The plea also submitted, that Pawan Hans has leased six helicopters for its offshore business in FY 2021-22, and with respect to the same Rs 40 crores is the security deposits, which have not been accommodated in the valuation of the Pawan Hans Limited.

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