Thursday, August 31, 2017

Indian mindset for ownership of Air India; in theory all open: Ashok Gajapathi Raju

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today said the "Indian mindset" is to keep the ownership of Air India within the country but "theoretically everything is open", including allowing foreign bidders.
His comments assume significance as it indicates that the government might tweak the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms with respect to Air India -- the loss-making national carrier for which a group of ministers is working on the disinvestment modalities.
When asked whether it would be right to interpret that Air India stake sale would also be open for FDI, Raju said: "I think Indian mindset is not inclined towards that but theoretically everything is open. Indian mindset is that this is a national carrier.
"Interpretations can (be done) by anyone. Theoretically ...general inclination is to keep it, that is more or less the thinking of everyone."
The current FDI policy does not permit foreign airlines to invest in Air India whereas they are allowed up to 49 per cent stake in domestic Indian carriers.

"It is all theory. As of now, nothing has been said, this is the thing where we stop... Those decisions are not there but they will come. It is a matter of time," Raju told in an interview.
31/08/17 PTI/Economic Times