Air India stake sale: Parliamentary panel to hear govt views on Tuesday
New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel will hear on 8 August the views of various stakeholders on the disinvestment of national carrier Air India and Pawan Hans Ltd.
While a group of ministers, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, is looking into various aspects of the proposed disinvestment of Air India, the government has already decided to sell its entire 51% stake in Pawan Hans Ltd (PHL), in which the rest 49% holding is with ONGC.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on transport, tourism and culture will hear the views of the ministry of civil aviation, department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM), Air India and Pawan Hans on the disinvestment of Air India and Pawan Hans on 8 August, as per the panel’s schedule.
DIPAM comes under the finance ministry. The 31-member panel is headed by Trinamool Congress member Mukul Roy and has 21 MPs from the Lok Sabha. The members include those from the Congress, BJP, BJD, SP, CPI(M) and TDP.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had on 27 October last year given its in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of profit-making Pawan Hans. On 28 June, the CCEA gave its in-principle approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries.
The employees’ unions at both Air India and Pawan Hans are opposed to the privatisation of the two government-run entities. Air Corp. Employees Union (ACEU), which is a grouping of Air India’s non-technical staff and comprises nearly 8,000 of the total 21,137 employees, has termed the decision as ‘arbitrary’. Air India, which has a debt burden of more than Rs52,000 crore, is staying afloat on taxpayers money. The previous UPA government had extended bailout package worth little over Rs30,000 crore to the national carrier for a ten-year period starting from 2012.