The government has decided to appoint transaction advisers for Air India
disinvestment, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after a ministerial group met
to discuss various aspects of the stake sale on August 30.
The group, headed by Jaitley, held deliberations for nearly an hour .
"Today we discussed several issues. We have decided to appoint transaction
advisers," he told reporters.
Apart from Jaitley, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Railway
Minister Suresh Prabhu and Power Minister Piyush Goyal as well as senior
officials were present at the meeting. Air India's interim CMD Rajiv Bansal and
senior officials from the airline as well as the civil aviation ministry were
"These decisions are to be taken expeditiously but in their normal
course," Jaitley said earlier in the day in response to a query about the
Air India stake sale process.
On 28 June, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had given its
in-principle for strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its
subsidiaries. Subsequently, an Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism was set
up to guide the process.
The ministerial group is looking into treatment of Air India's
unsustainable debt, hiving off of certain assets to a shell company, demerger
and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries, among other
At least two parties -- IndiGo and Bird Group -- have formally evinced
interest in Air India disinvestment and have written to the civil aviation
ministry in this regard. Air India is staying afloat on taxpayers’ money and
the airline has a debt of more than Rs 50,000 crore.