The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for Air India stake divestment, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. “In-principle approval for Air India divestment has been given. The Civil Aviation Ministry’s proposal for formation of a group under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister to decide the modalities of divestment process has also been accepted,” he said after the meeting of Union Cabinet.
“The Civil Aviation Ministry’s proposal for formation of a group under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister to decide the modalities of divestment process has also been accepted,” said Jaitley.
However, the minister did not divulge any time frame for the formation of the group or the submission of a final report by the panel which will be formed to look at the quantum of stakesale. Jaitley said that the members of the panel will be decided by the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has been exploring ways to privatise the loss-making national carrier, which was bailed out in 2012 with $5.8 billion of federal funding.
On June 20, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had said that the NITI Aayog’s recommendation on the future of the national passenger carrier has been presented to the Union cabinet which will take a call on it. Sinha that time had said that inter-ministerial consultations on the future of the airline have been completed and “are being summarised and presented” to the cabinet.
In a recent report to the Civil Aviation Ministry, the NITI Aayog recommended strategic disinvestment in the loss-making Air India, by which government control would be transferred to a private owner.
The cabinet also approved the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on allowances. The revised rates will be effective from July 1.
(With inputs from agencies)