Govt contemplating decreasing Air India’s debt and delaying its disinvestment

New Delhi, September 18

The Central Government is contemplating decreasing Air India’s debt additional and delaying its disinvestment course of with a purpose to woo patrons, senior officers stated on Friday.

The debt of Air India as on March 31, 2019, was Rs 58, 255 crore. Later in 2019, Rs 29,464 crore of this debt was transferred from Air India to a government-owned particular objective automobile known as Air India Assets Holding Company Limited (AIAHL).

“The government is considering reducing the debt of the airline further in order to make it attractive for interested parties in the current economic scenario affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a senior authorities official stated.

More time is more likely to be given to bidders to submit their bids and it’ll delay the disinvestment course of additional, one other authorities official stated.

The deadline to submit bids for the nationwide service has already been prolonged 4 instances this yr.

The fourth extension was given on August 25 when the deadline for putting bids for Air India was pushed by two months to October 30 because the COVID-19 fallout has disrupted financial exercise globally.

The means of stake sale within the nationwide service was initiated on January 27.                        

“Air India Limited has been suffering continuous losses. The COVID-19 pandemic along with its related impact on the aviation industry has further worsened the financial position of the company,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had stated on Thursday.

Air India has incurred a web lack of about Rs 2,570 crore within the first quarter of 2020-21 as in comparison with a web lack of Rs 785 crore sustained within the corresponding interval a yr in the past, he added in a written reply to a query in Lok Sabha.

An quantity of Rs 1,000 crore as mortgage to Air India has additionally been offered within the present monetary yr, Puri acknowledged.

After its unsuccessful bid to promote Air India in 2018, the federal government in January this yr restarted the divestment course of and invited bids for promoting 100 per cent of its fairness within the state-owned airline, together with Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in Air India Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

In 2018, the federal government had provided to promote its 76 per cent stake within the airline.

The aviation sector has been considerably impacted as a result of journey restrictions imposed in India and different international locations in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

All airways in India have taken cost-cutting measures akin to pay cuts, go away with out pay or firings of staff with a purpose to preserve money. PTI

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