Government Working On Proposal To Allow 100% Foreign Direct Investment In Air India
An Air India Ltd. aircraft sits on display during the Aero India air show at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru, India. (Photographer: Karen Dias/Bloomberg)  

Government Working On Proposal To Allow 100% Foreign Direct Investment In Air India

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The government is working on a proposal to allow 100 percent foreign direct investment in Air India as it moves ahead with disinvestment of the national carrier, according to sources.

Currently, foreign direct investment in Air India is capped at 49 percent through the government approval route while 100 percent FDI is permitted in scheduled domestic carriers, subject to certain conditions, including that it would not be applicable for overseas airlines.

Allowing 100 percent FDI in Air India would allow Non-Resident Indians to invest up to 100 percent. Currently, they can acquire only 49 percent in the national carrier. Sources told PTI that the civil aviation ministry has asked the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade to remove the clause which restricts FDI in Air India to 49 percent.

Also read: Air India Is Up For Sale Again. Here’s What’s Different This Time

A draft note has been circulated on the issue seeking comments from different ministries, they added. In the case of scheduled airlines, 49 percent FDI is permitted through automatic approval route and any such investment beyond that level requires approval.

Under the Substantial Ownership and Effective Control framework, which is followed in the airline industry globally, a carrier that flies overseas from a particular country should be substantially owned by that country's government or its nationals.

Making a second attempt in as many years to divest loss-making Air India, the government came out with the Preliminary Information Memorandum for 100 percent stake sale on Jan. 27. Besides, Air India's 100 percent stake in budget airline Air India Express and 50 percent shareholding in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd. an equal joint venture with Singapore Airlines, have also been offered.

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