Air India Draft Tender Lists Four Options For Government Ownership
The government is looking at four options for retaining a stake in the disinvestment-bound Air India. The options include keeping a 49, 26, 24 or zero percent stake in the national carrier with itself, said a senior official today.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has prepared a draft expression of interest, which was placed before the empowered committee at a meeting last week. The draft will also be examined by the core group on disinvestment and the group of ministers constituted to prepare a strategy for the privatisation of Air India, the official said.
The latter will take a decision on the various proposals following which an Expression of Interest will be formally invited.
The official added that the government was clear on transferring at least 51 percent of ownership of Air India to a private player.
Aviation think-tank CAPA had last month suggested that the government should exit Air India completely and that “any level of equity retention will deter investors due to concerns about the prospect of continued government interference post-privatisation.”
Last June, the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs had approved the disinvestment of Air India and constituted a group of ministers, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, to work on the modalities of the stake sale.
The proposed EOI will also address the issue of Air India’s employees and their future.
The document prepared by the ministry also recommends the subsidiary companies that should be sold together and the ones that can be sold as independent entities.
The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had said earlier this month that more than 51 percent of ownership of Air India will be offered to a private entity.