Jan 19, 2011
|By Neelam Mathews NEW DELHI|
| India’s longest serving Minister of Civil Aviation, Praful Patel, is moving to the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.|
Patel will be replaced by 73-year-old congressional leader Vayalar Ravi who has been given additional charge of the aviation portfolio in the cabinet reshuffle undertaken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, effective Jan. 19.
Ravi continues as minister for overseas Indian affairs with cabinet rank.
The change comes at a time when Air India will be approaching the Bureau of Public Sector Enterprises for a hefty revival package. BPSE, under Patel’s ministry, is likely to ease the national carrier’s financial woes.
Patel has been credited for giving a boost to the civil aviation sector through liberal policies aimed at helping the private sector. Of late, he had been said to have asked the ruling Congress party for a change of ministry.