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Government kickstarts process for AI’s disinvestment

THE ASIAN AGE. | VINEETA PANDEY
Published : Sep 20, 2019, 2:36 am IST
Updated : Sep 20, 2019, 2:36 am IST

The civil aviation minister had said recently that the government is better prepared this time.

This is the second attempt by the NDA government to sell stakes in debt-laden Air India, after failing to hive off 76 per cent stake due to lack of interest from the buyers.
 This is the second attempt by the NDA government to sell stakes in debt-laden Air India, after failing to hive off 76 per cent stake due to lack of interest from the buyers.

New Delhi: The Union government on Thursday kickstarted the process of disinvestment of national carrier Air India with the first meeting of the group of ministers for Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) taking place on Thursday.

The AISAM-GoM meeting was chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah and was attended by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, minister of state for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri and commerce minister Piyush Goyal.

“The first meeting was productive. All issues have been taken on board. We are going to take all the decisions in a defined period of time. Process for divestment of AI is truly underway,” Mr Puri said.

He, however, refused to give any details of the meeting. “I am not in a position to announce that. Next meeting will be held soon.” he added.

This meeting comes days after senior officials of civil aviation, finance and commerce ministries sat with the Cabinet secretary to prepare background. However, several road bumps remain to be handled before the government announces the details and timeline for disinvestment. This include issues related to human resource.

This is the second attempt by the NDA government to sell stakes in debt-laden Air India, after failing to hive off 76 per cent stake due to lack of interest from the buyers. To avoid a similar situation, it is speculated that entire 100 per cent stakes may be put up for sale to generate interest from the buyers.

The civil aviation minister had said recently that the government is better prepared this time.

“There are lessons to be learnt from past. This one (attempt to sell) is going to succeed. There will be no wavering this time. It will be a quick decision by the GoM,” Mr Puri had said during an interaction with media last month.

Tags: air india, hardeep singh puri