Thew news about Air India’s privatisation has been floating around in the industry for quite some time now. However, there has been no real development in the matter since last time when the government invited bids from the potential buyers to buy a partial stake in the airline, the investors had backed out. But this time, the government is all set to invite fresh bids for the sale of the national carrier. As per a Mint report on the matter based on the statements of a finance ministry official, the expression of interest document will be put out by the government any time now. The official also brought it to light that the EOI will be put out for the interest of potential buyers before the year-end and this time, the government is looking forward to selling entire stake in the airline.
Government to Hit the Rs 1.05 Trillion Target Helped by Air India Stake Sale
The sale of the massive stake in the national carrier is very crucial for the government as it seeks to hit its target of Rs 1.05 trillion for the year. The sale is also important for another reason as the government will likely face a loss of Rs 1.45 trillion after the recent corporate tax adjustment that it has made. The sale would also help the airline as it is currently surviving on a package which the government sent out for the company worth Rs 3,000 crore. The airline has also fallen far behind other private airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet.
Panel to Meet Again Before October End to Decide Final Steps
A panel headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah had met on September 19 to discuss the further steps in the Air India divestment plan. The panel includes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri and railways and trade minister Piyush Goyol. It is worth noting that the panel is likely to meet before the month-end again before it moves for the final divestment in the airline. Earlier during its previous divestment attempt in March 2018, the government failed to have any takers for the stake as most buyers were wary of the government retaining a 24% stake in the airline. But, this time around, the government is looking forward to selling the entire stake in the airline.