Friday, March 26, 2021

Sale of Air India to be completed by May or June, aviation minister Hardeep Puri says

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is close to inviting financial bids for flag carrier Air India Ltd., moving toward the sale of an airline that’s surviving on taxpayer money, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said.

The financial offers are expected to come in within 64 days from the date of request, he said, addressing the Times Network India Economic Conclave Friday. The process is likely to be completed by May or June, he said.

Bloomberg reported on the plan earlier Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

“It’s a question of taking the decision and handing over the airline,” Puri said, without giving details of the bidders who made the initial shortlist.

India’s Tata Group and SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh have been shortlisted to bid for the carrier, local media reported this week. An invitation for financial bids will be a progress for Modi, who has failed previously to sell the enterprise that has been rescued by the government multiple times in the past decade.

The government loses Rs 200 million ($2.8 million) everyday on the carrier, Puri said. Air India’s cumulative debt stood at Rs 600 billion, he said.

“This time we decided there is no choice,” he said, adding: “We either privatize or we close the airline down.”

26/03/21 Siddhartha Singh and Raginin Saxena/Bloomberg/Print

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment