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New Delhi: Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL), the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) subsidiary of divestment-bound national carrier Air India Limited, owes the Provident Fund (PF) Trust of 122.44 crore in outstanding for non-compliance of PF payments between May 2020 and May 2021.

In a written response to a query by a member of parliament Sanjay Raut in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, minister of state for civil aviation VK Singh said that AIESL was not able to recover outstanding dues from its customers during the pandemic resulting in the company failing to make the PF payments.

"The board of AIESL had directed the management to follow-up with the customers and recover dues so that the company is able to pay its outstanding dues including statutory dues," Singh said.

"During July 2021 (up to 15 July 2021) the company has been able to recover some of its overdue from customers and has remitted a sum of 79.50 crore to the PF Trust, thereby clearing the overdue up to April 2020," Singh added.

As things stand, the government hopes to divest its 100% stake in Air India, which includes selling the airline's 100% stake in no-frills subsidiary Air India Express Ltd and 50% stake in Air India SATS Airport Services. The government hopes to receive financial bids for the national carrier by 15 September, Singh informed the parliament last week.

The government also plans to sell its stake in AIESL, Air India Airport Services Limited (AIASL), and the ground handling operations of Air India. However, the timeline for this hasn't been decided yet.

Meanwhile, according to reports, AIESL has initiated a fresh round of salary cuts for its employees a fortnight ago, as the company struggles to generate cash amidst the covid-19 pandemic.

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