Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Union Cabinet to take final call on Air India divestment: Sinha

Mumbai: The Union Cabinet will take a final call with regards to the way forward for the divestment of state-owned Air India, according to the minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha.

"The process is underway right now and as we have said many times, we are going through the analysis process and those recommendations are in front of the Cabinet right now and the Cabinet will take the process forward," Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of the airports investment summit organised by IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Asked on whether it will have only a privatisation element or whether it will involve a debt waiver as well, Sinha said, "All options are on the table and it is on Cabinet to decide on how best to move forward."

NITI Aayog had recently suggested that Air India should be completely privatised. The state-owned carrier has a debt of over Rs 50,000 crore on its books and had received a bailout package of Rs 30,000 crore from the government recently.

Sinha also did not rule out the possibility of Air India's stake sale to a foreign carrier. "All these options are on the table and there is a well-defined decision-making process which is for the Cabinet to take all of this into account and to provide guidance on how this will move forward," Sinha said.
20/06/17 Benny Antony/Deccan Herald