NEW DELHI: The government will soon review the plan for strategic disinvestment of Air India, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said today, a day after the centre said it has decided to put the stake sale in the national carrier on hold.
A plan is also being worked out by the Air India board and the situation is under review, Mr Sinha told reporters today. The government is committed that Air India remains an independent, globally-competitive and a highly-successful airline, he said.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday said the government will review its plans to privatise Air India at a later date. The centre in March had announced a plan to divest a 76-per cent stake in Air India and offload about $5.1 billion of its debt. However, the airline failed to receive any interest from bidders.
The government, under the proposed plan, was to sell 76 per cent stake in Air India along with complete divestment of low-cost arm Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd - an equal joint venture with Singapore's SATS. But centre dropped the plan because it felt it wasn't a good idea to privatise the airline in an election year, news agency PTI reported citing a top official.
The decision to put the Air India stake sale on hold was taken at a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday. The centre after the meet also said Air India would soon get funds from the government for its day-to-day operations and will even place orders for a couple of aircraft.