After a year of government's initiation, no bidders came forward in the disinvestment process for debt-laden Air India. The deadline for submission of initial bids for Air India stake sale ended on May
As per the information memorandum, issued in March, the government would retain 24 per cent stake in the national carrier, the winning bidder would be required to stay invested in the airline for at least three years.
On June 28, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave in-principle approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries. Sources said the move came after taking into consideration recommendations made by government think tank Niti Aayog and the core group of secretaries on disinvestment.
In an internal communication to the airline's employees, Lohani refers to the airline's accumulated debt of over Rs. 50,000 crore and says "survival in the long run is almost impossible and the proposal to consider disinvestment is a step in this direction."