Center may announce winning bid for Air India by October 15
Sources indicated that while the winning bid for Air India is likely to be announced as October 15, the financial bids received for the carrier could be opened anytime this week.
The Center received several financial bids for the disinvestment of Air India on 15 September. Accordingly, Tata Sons and industrialist Ajay Singh have submitted financial bids for Air India in their individual capacity.
Sources indicated that while Tatas are the frontrunners to hold onto the carrier, all the bids will be evaluated on various parameters and the winning bidder will be announced after the approval of the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by the Home Minister. .
On Twitter, DIPAM secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had earlier said that the disinvestment process has reached the final stage.
“Financial Bids for Air India Disinvestment Received by Transaction Advisor. Process is now in the final stage,” he had posted earlier this month.
Tata’s bid was much awaited as his name was in the news for some time now.
The government has of late taken several steps to accelerate the privatization of the national carrier.
Recently, the government decided to waive off tax on transfer of assets from the national carrier to Air India Assets Holding Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV).
During the FY 2012 budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that all the proposed privatization process would be completed by the end of the financial year, including the huge delay in the strategic disinvestment of Air India.
Earlier, some interested parties including Tata were shortlisted for the bidding round.
This is the second attempt by the current central government to sell its stake in the airline.
In the pre-pandemic era, the airline, on a standalone basis, operated over 50 domestic and over 40 international destinations.
In addition, it operated more than 120 aircraft before the Covid pandemic.
During that period, the airline had over 9,000 permanent and 4,000 contract employees.–IANS
(Only the title and image in this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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