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The central government has decided to temporarily defer the Airport Authority of India's (AAI) proposed sale of stakes in the private joint ventures operating the airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, news agency PTI quoted a senior official as saying on 30 November.

Under the government's ambitious National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), announced in August last year, state-owned Airport Authority of India's (AAI) residual stakes in the four major airports are to be sold.

Over a four-year period from FY 2022 to FY 2025, NMP estimates aggregate monetisation potential of 6 lakh crore through core assets of the central government.

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As per details, the AAI holds 26 per cent stake each in joint ventures that operate Delhi and Mumbai airports, while it owns 13 per cent shareholding each in the joint ventures that operate Hyderabad and Bangalore airports.

Among other details, the senior government official said that the finance ministry has decided to defer for now the sale of the AAI's residual stakes in these four joint ventures as the valuations could be lower now.

Under the NMP, a total of 25 airports and the AAI's residual stakes in the four airport joint ventures have been considered. The overall value of these assets was estimated at 20,782 crore for FY 2022-25.

"Out of this, 10,000 crore of monetisation value has been tentatively considered on account of divestment of AAI stake in private joint venture airports. The same has been phased out equally over FY22 and FY23," as per the NMP document that was released in August 2021.

"It may be noted that the actual realisation from AAI stake sale will depend on multiple factors such as transaction timing, market conditions, investor appetite and transaction terms," the document added.

A market approach has been adopted for determining the indicative value of AAI's stake in the four private joint ventures.

The NMP has been developed by Niti Aayog, in consultation with infrastructure line ministries, based on the mandate for asset monetisation under Union Budget 2021-22.

With PTI inputs.

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