India’s flag carrier ‘Air India’ to be privatized within a year

The Indian government is going to sell Air India, its flag carrier. The government has planned to privatize the airlines within 2022.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, speaking to Indian media on Wednesday, said, “Over the next few years, various large corporations, along with the state-owned flag carrier, will be privatized.”

Minister Sitharaman shared the perception that there should be a minimal presence in the country’s four strategic areas concerning national security. Minister Sitharaman said government ownership in nuclear energy, space, security, communication, and finance is essential.

“The government is planning for a significant policy change. We say that the government should not fully own the business sector. The first option for this is privatization,” He added.

The debt of Air India has crossed about Rs 384 billion. During the first or second quarter of 2021, the government intends to sell its stock as the firm is not in a position to afford it further.

India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, agreed in December 2020 to finalize the company’s acquisition by next March.

From January to March 2020, it was expected to sell the company’s 100 percent stock securities. However, it was postponed because of this period. The deadline for bidding was extended.

The government has delayed the deadline until January 30 due to Kovid, pending preparations to issue the company’s shares since last January.

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