February 20, 2020
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'Maybe They Did Not Like My Face. And Work'

A jubilant yet bitter Mascarenhas spoke to Outlook on his last day in office. Excerpts:

'Maybe They Did Not Like My Face. And Work'
Your feelings after the clean chit?
This is certainly not the right way to retire. They made everything difficult for me. They checkmated all the moves I made for A-I's disinvestment, downplayed the fact that when I took over A-I, the airline's losses were a whopping Rs 400 crore and when they suspended me, it was a mere Rs 26 crore. I would have shown profits if they had not juggled with accounts and taken out Rs 245 crore (putting it in a separate account) to reflect both operating and net losses—all aimed at embarrassing me.

What are your immediate plans?
I must fight. The suspension order almost killed me and ruined my 34-year career. I will not take it lying down, though it would not be right for me to name those against whom I will fight.

Will decisions like these send discouraging signals to proactive heads of psus?
Absolutely. Business decisions are always taken like this. You need to offer incentives to earn on volumes. What's wrong in that?

Are bureaucrats and politicians difficult to handle?
They are a mixed bag. Some have brilliant ideas. Some have fixed ones. It's your good luck or nightmare who you are saddled with.

Why were these people gunning for you?
You need to ask them. Maybe they did not like my face. And my work.
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