Senior TDP leader Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju took charge as the new Civil Aviation Minister on Thursday, assuring that he would strive to create a level playing field for all players in the crucial infrastructure sector.
"We will strive to create a level-playing field for all the players and make the aviation sector more people- oriented," he told reporters soon after the taking over charge at the ministry headquarters in Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan here.
He was accompanied by his family members including his wife, all of whom were greeted with flowers by officials.
To questions on airlines running in major losses, he said, "We will have to examine the reasons for these losses" and then find ways to check them. "Civil aviation is a crucial infrastructure sector and it is an important portfolio," Raju said in his maiden remarks as the Minister.
Later, Raju closeted himself with senior officials who made presentations on various aspects of the sector.
He has already held preliminary discussions with Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Lavasa, Air India CMD Rohit Nandan, Director General Civil Aviation Prabhat Kumar and Airports Economic Regulatory Authority chairman Yashwant Bhave.
Raju, 63, hails from the royal family of Gajapathi from Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh, and is a seven-time legislator of the state assembly who has served as finance and revenue minister in the TDP-led state governments of the late NT Rama Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu.