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Air India staff threaten stir. Markets close flat.

After the Kingfisher, it is now the turn of the Air India employees to threaten for a strike, for non payment of the salary dues. The employees, mainly the pilots of the airliner, have been reported to indicate that they may consider stopping the flights from April, if the delayed allowances and salaries do not get dispersed to them in a speedy manner.

The Indian Pilots Guild, the representative forum of the pilots, has been reported to have written letters to the Civil Aviation Minister & the DGCA, that the services might be affected if the dues remain uncleared. In their letter, the pilots are described to have been coming from “humble background and modest means”, and the delays caused by the airline in payment of the dues, has caused them severe financial distress.

Woes continued for the distressed Kingfisher Airlines as well. The stocks of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) crashed another 6% today, on reports of the Income Tax department freezing 19 accounts of the company. Reports have also been floating that the Indian Association Of Travel Agents (IATA) has suspended Kingfisher.

Back to the stock markets, the counters closed flat today, after witnessing a volatile trading session. The Sensex and the Nifty closed almost flat. The Sensex ended with a negative bias, with the Oil & gas giant Reliance Industries leading the fall. ONGC was down 1%. Telecom operator Bharti Airtel too lost 2%. Metals stocks extended fall for third consecutive session today. Sterlite Industries tanked 4% and Jindal Steel slipped 1.8%.

Technology stocks gained due to depreciation in rupee to 50.53 a dollar. Infosys, India’s No. 2 software services exporter rose 1% and Wipro jumped 2% while rival TCS fell 0.75%.

State-run BHEL and NTPC were down nearly 2-2.4%. Among banks, private sector lenders HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank climbed 1-1.5% while rival SBI was down 0.46%.

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s stocks rebound sharply after yesterday’s sharp fall. Reliance Power shot up 5.8%. Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Communications gained 0.8-1.7%.

Jaypee group company Jaiprakash Associates topped the buying list, rising 7% today after falling sharply in last few days.



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