Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Niti Aayog proposes total privatisation of Air India

New Delhi: The government may look at exiting Air India completely, as the Niti Aayog has proposed total privatisation of the national carrier in a report to the Prime Minister’s Office.

To stress its point, the Aayog has cited various international examples of governments selling their entire stakes in airlines and not retaining any shareholding to make them viable. These include British Airways, Japan Airlines and Austrian Air.

Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the government is examining the suggestions made by the think tank.

“Niti Aayog has made suggestions to make Air India a strong and viable airline. All course of action is being examined by us. We have not closed any option,” he told reporters at a conference held here on the third anniversary of the BJP-led government.
Raju was responding to a question on a recent statement made by union finance minister Arun Jaitley, who hinted at a divestment in Air India. Jaitley told state-owned TV news channel Doordarshan that the government is exploring all options with regard to Air India, including bringing in a strategic investor. Sources in the aviation ministry said the government expects to make a decision on the future of Air India within three months.
30/05/17 Mihir Mishra & Yogima Seth Sharma/Economic Times