Friday, June 09, 2017

Air India privatisation blueprint: The Great Maharajah makeover

In its boldest move yet the Narendra Modi government has decided to privatise the 52,000 cr debt laden national carrier the Air India.  A decision that will raise the hackles of trade unions and Left parties who have managed to block disinvestment in the airline sector for over 25 years.
But now the government has swung into action with its think tank Niti Aayog mapping the blueprint for the sale of Maharajah. It took Niti Aayog just 15 days to draft the Air India privatisation report.
"We did recommendation on Air India in just 15 days time, it was very clear from its analysis and statistics of its financial performance, it was very clear that it will do better if you structure it with a private partner," revealed Amitabh Kant, Niti Aayog CEO to India Today.
Niti Aayog has made a strong argument to put national carrier on the sale bloc and divert the funds used to subsidise it for education and health sector needs in its fourth report to the PMO.
"Our belief is that government is very good at somethings and pathetic at other things. It should get out of areas where its very bad and it should take out resources which are not in productive area should be taken out. There is no rationale of government to put money into an airline which is just taking 14 per cent of market share. Private sector has done pretty well and our analysis showed that resources required are huge and they need to be put in education and health," asks Amitabh Kant, Niti Aayog CEO.
09/06/17 Devina Gupta/India Today