While the deadline for submission of Expression of Interest or EoI ends on May 31, the secretary said the request for proposal could be issued after June 15. He said the highest bidder for the airline would be known by the end of August. But the highest bidder may not be the successful bidder, he said, adding the government intends to complete the disinvestment process by this year end.
"Though the transaction advisor (Ernst & Young) will assess the enterprise value, the right price for the airline will be decided by us," he said. Asked about Air India employees union protests against the proposed sale, he said they are conscious of the fact that airlines the world over have done well after privatisation.
Earlier, Mr Choubey had said the disinvestment process in the national carrier has generated a great deal of interest.
The government also made it clear that it would have the rights of a "minority shareholder" with 24 per cent stake in Air India post disinvestment.