Monday, June 11, 2018

AI sale: Public limited co model with dispersed shareholding ‘is an option’

New Delhi: A diversified shareholder mechanism could be a viable option for the Centre to divest its stake in Air India.

“One of the options could well be to have a very highly diversified distribution of Air India’s equity. It should be structured in such a way that you get a very wide dispersal and it becomes a truly public limited company with a board that is completely autonomous and not necessarily public in nature. You could get a private corporate board like you have at MNCs,” NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar told BusinessLine.

Kumar explained that the system would require a board and a management that would be allowed to function as a private sector enterprise. It can be expected to turn around the carrier.

NITI Aayog plays a key role in making policy decisions and suggesting the list of PSUs to be divested.

The fact that there were no bidders for Air India before the May 31 deadline set by the Centre cannot be termed a disappointment, said Kumar. The Centre has been looking into the lack of response and working out corrective measures.

Kumar’s suggestion seems to be in sync with what the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), a political and cultural organisation affiliated with the RSS, is saying.
Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convener of SJM, who recently met senior officials of NITI Aayog as well as the Civil Aviation Ministry, had said: “Good management is what Air India needs. We are preparing a report suggesting ways and means to revive Air India — correcting the management disorders and other departments of the carrier like the engineering wing.
10/06/18 Richa Mishra/Shisha Sinha/Business Line