NEW DELHI: The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to allow non-resident Indians (NRIs) to acquire 100% stake in national carrier Air India, Union minister Prakash Javadekar.
“NRIs who are Indian nationals will get permission to invest Air India. This will pave the way for fresh investments. Passengers will continue to get better and better services and it will also improve the business environment," said Javadekar.
The minister said various policies of the Narendra Modi administration has made India a very attractive destination for foreign investment.
The government in January had invited expressions of interest from investors for its entire stake in Air India, along with subsidiary, Air India Express, as well as 50% stake in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between Air India and Singapore Airport Terminal Services.
To sweeten the deal, the government said the government successful bidder will need to absorb just ₹23,286.5 crore of debt while the rest, about ₹56,334 crore, will be transferred to a special purpose vehicle - Air India Assets Holding Ltd.
Air India serves 98 destinations, including 42 spots overseas. It has 121 aircraft of which it owns 32 while the rest are leased.
It has 9,426 permanent workers, 4,201 contract employees and over 2,867 employees who are on deputation from other companies as on 1 November.