Union ministers meet over AI privatisation
During Thursday’s meeting, the Department of Investment and Public Asset management presented details of where things stand with Air India and its financial state.Updated: Sep 20, 2019 04:06 IST
The government’s efforts to privatise Air India were set in motion Thursday with the Group of Ministers tasked with this meeting for the first time. The GOM, headed by home minister Amit Shah and comprising aviation minister Hardeep Puri, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and commerce minister Piyush Goel agreed that the privatisation should be done by early next year.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, all that aviation minister Puri said was: “I’m not in a position to make any announcements, other than the fact that the meeting took place; please allow the process to move forward: it was a very productive meeting, all issues have been taken on board.’’
“There was agreement about the decision of privatisation and what is confirmed is that it will be a `compressed process,” said a government official involved in the process. This person added that the conditions that prevented Air India from being sold last time will no longer be in place. Last time around, the government wanted to hold on to 24% of the stake in Air India. HT has confirmed that this will not be a pre-requirement this time and that all of Air India will be sold.
During Thursday’s meeting, the Department of Investment and Public Asset management presented details of where things stand with Air India and its financial state. “There was absolute clarity on everybody’s part that the government should not be in the business of running an airline as it was just an unsustainable burden,’’ said the official.
The Group of Ministers is headed by home minister Amit Shah. While there isn’t a timeline yet, the official said that the ministerial group hopes to complete the process by early 2020.
First Published: Sep 20, 2019 00:04 IST