Air India: Choice between 'disinvestment or closing down': Aviation Minister on privatisation

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said that Air India, the national flag carrier airline of the country, will be completely privatised, noting that it is only a choice between "disinvestment or closing down" the company for the central government.

Air India will be "100 percent disinvested" and it "must find a new home", Puri said today on the disinvestment process of the debt-ridden national carrier. He said prospective buyers have been given 64 days to come with their bids.

"We've decided that Air India will be 100 percent disinvested. The choice isn't between disinvestment and non-disinvestment. It's between disinvestment and closing down. Air India is a first-rate asset but has an accumulated debt of Rs. 60,000 crore. We need to draw the slate clean," Mr Puri told

Puri told the news agency that Air India "must find a new home", adding that the disinvestment process of the national airline carrier will be completed by May or June this year.

Multiple entities had last month expressed interest in bidding for the government's stake in the airline. 

The stake sale process got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government has extended five times the deadline to submit preliminary bids for the national carrier.

 

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