Air India Disinvestment In Last Phase; Centre Looking To Announce Winning Bid For Airline Next Month

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The central government is working towards announcing a winning bid for Air India by middle of next month and thus wrap up the divestment of the airline.

Sources indicated that tentatively 15 October has been kept the date for announcing the winning bid for Air India. The financial bid for the national carrier is likely to be opened on 29 September, stated reports.

Centre on 15 September received multiple financial bids for divestment of Air India. Accordingly, Tata Sons and industrialist Ajay Singh in his personal capacity are believed to have submitted financial bids for Air India.

Sources indicated while Tatas are front runners to get hold of the carrier, all bids would be evaluated on various parameters and the winning bidder would be announced after approval of the group of ministers (GoM) headed by the home minister.

Taking to Twitter, DIPAM Secretary, Tuhin Kanta Pandey had earlier said that the disinvestment process has moved to the concluding stage.

"Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser. Process now moves to the concluding stage," he had posted earlier this month.

The Tatas bid was much-anticipated as its name had been doing the rounds for some time now.

The government has of late taken several steps to fast-track the much-delayed privatisation of the national carrier.

Recently, the government decided to waive taxes on the transfer of assets from the national carrier to Air India Assets Holding Ltd, a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

During the Budget speech for FY22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that all the proposed privatisation process would be completed by the end of the fiscal, including the much-delayed strategic disinvestment of Air India.

Earlier, few interested parties, including the Tatas were selected for the bidding round. This is the second attempt of the current Central government to divest its stake in the airline.

The government along with the bidders have had to work on multiple aspects such as employee benefits along with the dealing of government guarantees as Air India’s divestment is expected to be the template for the upcoming strategic sales of other public-sector companies in the future.

With IANS Inputs

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