The Centre decided after a meeting on March 25 , 2021 that the financial bids for Air India shall be closed by the government within a period of 64 days followed by which an announcement finalizing it will be made, confirmed Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The future owners of Air India were to be decided by May end of 2021.
Hardeep Singh Puri at a Times now event informed the media that, “There was a meeting yesterday and it has been decided that we will close the financial bids within 64 days. Post that, it will be the decision and announcement on who gets it..”
The process of Privatization took a pause because of the Covid-19 pandemic. If this sale does take place officially, that would make it the biggest reform in the Aviation sector of India.
The Centre’s aim is to get done with Air India’s disinvestment process by potentially the end of this year whilst also starting the process of inviting financial bids to begin soon. Minister Puri informed the public that the new owners of the carrier were to be decided by June latest and another six months of time would be taken by the government to complete the entire hand over process of the airlines.
Puri mentioned that previous attempts to sell Air India were unsuccessful as it was half-hearted however, this time the airlines was to be treated as a “first rate asset”and not otherwise. He added, “The new owners of the airline will be able to run the airlines with a management that knows how to run an airline and by not repeating the mistakes made in the past. The government is losing money by running the airline, which could otherwise be used for developing other sectors like roads, rural development, etc.”
Currently, bids of Tata group as well as an association led by Ajay Singh, chairman of SpiceJet, have been shortlisted. The bids continue.