Government Wants Air India Disinvestment To be Completed Fast, Says Centre

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(PTI)

The government wants to complete the stake sale in Air India “fast” and the process of compiling details of the national carrier’s real estate assets is already on, a senior civil aviation ministry official said today. As part of efforts to revive the debt-laden Air India, which has been in the red for long, the government is working on the contours of its strategic disinvestment. A group of ministers is working on the modalities while the transaction and legal advisers for the proposed stake sale are being finalised. “Our intention is to do it very very fast. On that we are committed. We are serious and we want to do it fast,” Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said here today. To a query about real estate assets of the carrier, he said the process of compiling the details is going on.

Under a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA regime, Air India is to receive up to Rs 30,231 crore from the government subject to meeting certain performance thresholds. The ten-year bailout package began from 2012. So far, the embattled carrier has received around Rs 26,000 crore under the package. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its in-principle nod for the strategic disinvestment of the airline — which has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore — in June this year.

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