Almost all the Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) run by the government are running in losses right now. Be it BSNL or Indian Oil or Air India, the government is beating a lot of losses running these companies. Few years ago, national airline Air India was given support by the Indian government, however, the company is still making losses, as the aviation sector is becoming extremely competitive. We're already aware that the government is looking to make Air India privatise. According to a new report, it's now said that the expression of interest (EoI) for making Air India a private carrier will be ready by the end of November.
Sale Document of Air India is in the Final Stages of Approval
A Livemint report highlights the expression of interest (EoI) document was initially planned to be finalised by the end of October. However, the date was pushed to mid-November. The publication received this information from two people aware of the matter.
“The core group of secretaries on divestment will meet again to finalise the EoI document," the first person said. “Once the EoI document is finalised by the core group of secretaries, the final approval will be given by the ministerial panel headed by home minister Amit Shah," he added.
The report also adds a group of secretaries led by Rajiv Gauba (cabinet secretary) discussed the privatisation of Air India on Thursday. But it was delayed now and likely to be finalised in the next meeting. The meeting was attended by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri and commerce and railway minister Piyush Goyal.
Air India Debt Continues to Increase
The reason behind the decision to privatise Air India is the losses generated by the airline for years now. To recall, the debt of Air India increased to Rs 58,351 crore at the end of March 2019, from Rs 55,000 crore which it had in March 2018. So the airline is making losses to the government and the debt continues to rise year-on-year.
The government showed first signs of privatising Air India back in September this year. Back in 2018, the government planned to sell a part of its stake in Air India, but it failed to find any takers. But this time around, it's looking to attract buyers by selling the entire stake.