Apex auditor CAG on Friday said Air India “actually incurred” an operating loss of Rs 321.4 crore last fiscal instead of an operating profit as reported by the airline.
While making it clear that there was no fudging of numbers, officials at the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said figures reported by the airline are “actually under-reporting of loss”.
Air India, which is staying afloat on taxpayers’ money, reported an operational profit of Rs 105 crore in 2015-16 -- its first in more than a decade.
“For 2015-16 where Air India has reported an operating profit of approximately Rs 105 crore, the audit of Air India’s standalone accounts for 2015-16 has been completed,” Deputy CAG Pradeep Rao said.
About the operating profit which Air India has stated it has made in 2015-16, Rao said that in the view of CAG, “it is actually an operating loss of Rs 321.4 crore”.
Based on the observations made by statutory auditor of the company and the subsequent check by CAG, “we have found that they have not made provisions which they should have made in terms of standard accounting procedures”, he noted.
Rao spoke about Air India’s financial performance during the 2015-16 fiscal while briefing reporters about the CAG’s performance audit on ‘Turnaround Plan (TAP) and Financial Restructuring Plan (FRP) of Air India Ltd’.
The performance audit report, which covered the period from 2010-11 to 2015-16, was tabled in the Parliament today.
V K Kurien, Director General at CAG, said there was an under-reporting of loss by Air India in the last fiscal.
“Since we have separately completed the audit of AI’s standalone financial statement for 2015-16, this Rs 105 crore (of operating profit) does not represent the actual...,” he said.
CAG’s observations also come at a time when concerns persist in certain quarters about the viability of Air India even as the government has been talking about last fiscal’s operational profit to counter the concerns.