Will revisit Air India stake sale later, says Centre

The government will revisit the issue of Air India privatisation after global economic indicators and oil prices improve, it informed Parliament on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha also listed in Rajya Sabha the factors that led to the failure of the bidding process for the disinvestment of Air India. They include the government’s decision to continue to hold 24% shares in the airline, the size of the debt and profitability track record of the carrier. The government had invited bids in March, offering 76% share to private players. But when the deadline to submit bids ended on May 31, no one came forward to show interest in the privatisation process, dealing a blow to the Centre’s efforts.

Situation not conducive

“In view of volatile crude prices and adverse fluctuations in exchange rates, the present environment is not conducive to stimulate interest amongst investors for strategic disinvestment of Air India in immediate near future. The issue would be revisited once global economic indicators stabilise,” Mr. Sinha said in Rajya Sabha in response to a question.

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