Saturday, September 18, 2021

Govt may select successful bidder for Air India in 3 weeks: Report

New Delhi: Final bids for acquiring state-run carrier Air India were recently submitted by Tata Sons and SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh. The government could select the winner of the bid in approximately three weeks, reported Business Standard.

Two high-level committees will decide the reserve price for the national carrier within this period, added the report. This will be one of the final steps in the Air India divestment process, following which the government will plan to complete the transaction by December.

The reserve price of the airline will be decided by an inter-ministerial group (IMG) head by the secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), based on inputs from government-appointed valuers.

“Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by transaction adviser. The process now moves to the concluding stage,” secretary, DIPAM, tweeted on Wednesday.

Following the IMG’s decision, the Core Group of Secretaries on Divestment (CGD) will take a final call on the reserve price.

As the situation stands, either Tata Sons or SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh will acquire the cash-strapped airline. As mentioned earlier, the government aims to finish the process of selecting the winner of the bid within the next three weeks. Crucial evaluation processes are currently underway.

Once the final reserve price is determined, the proposal will be floated before the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM), which is heading by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. AISAM members include the finance minister, commerce minister and aviation minister.

While the government wants to stick to the December deadline for completing the entire process, it will depend on whether the government and the winner of the bid are in agreement. It may be noted that the terms and conditions have been finalised with buyers earlier.

17/09/21 India Today

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