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Govt heading towards second stage of Air India disinvestment process: Official

FILE - In this April 16, 2015 file photo, an Airbus A319 of Air India prepares to land at the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi, India. India’s government says it has received “multiple expressions of interest” in buying its 100% stake in the debt-laden national carrier Air India to shore up falling government revenues after an initial attempt in 2018 failed to attract any bidders. The deadline for submission of formal bids was Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, and the government is expected to announce the qualified bidders on Jan. 5. It did not reveal the identity of the bidders or the number of bids received. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File) (AP)Premium
FILE - In this April 16, 2015 file photo, an Airbus A319 of Air India prepares to land at the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi, India. India’s government says it has received “multiple expressions of interest” in buying its 100% stake in the debt-laden national carrier Air India to shore up falling government revenues after an initial attempt in 2018 failed to attract any bidders. The deadline for submission of formal bids was Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, and the government is expected to announce the qualified bidders on Jan. 5. It did not reveal the identity of the bidders or the number of bids received. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File) (AP)

  • In 2018, not a single bid was received for the disinvestment of Air India
  • This time, the government has proposed strategic disinvestment of 100 per cent of its equity share capital

The first process of proposed strategic disinvestment of Air India has been completed and the Union Civil Ministry is heading towards the second process that will begin with the announcement of names of qualified bidders on January 5, 2021, an official said on Tuesday.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Civil Aviation Ministry while addressing a press conference said the two processes of the strategic disinvestment of Air India include -- submission of 'Expression of Interest', which was completed on December 14 and the second process 'Request for Proposal'.

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"The strategic disinvestment of Air India is a transparent two-step process. The first process is the submission of 'Expression of Interest', which is bidders showing interest in Air India. It is a confidential process and as of now, multiple 'Expression of Interest' have been received. Their scrutiny process is going on. It will be completed by January 5 and we will have eligible bidders," Kharola said.

"In the next step, eligible bidders will be asked for 'Request for proposal' which is nothing but financial information of bidders. We are heading towards the second stage and the first stage is completed," he added.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, which comes under the Union Finance Ministry "will indicate about the bidders after examining 'Expression of Interest' on January 5."

"The bidders who will be shortlisted after the due criteria will be given time of 90 days to get full information and we will also check their files," he added.

This is the central government's second attempt at disinvesting its stake in Air India. In 2018, not a single bid was received for the disinvestment of Air India. This time, the government has proposed strategic disinvestment of 100 per cent of its equity share capital in Air India Limited, which includes Air India's shareholding interest of 100 per cent in Air India Express and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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