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Preliminary document for AIATSL disinvestment likely in a week: Official

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 30, 2019  | 21:12 IST

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The preliminary document for the disinvestment of Air India's ground handling subsidiary AIATSL is likely to be issued in a week, a senior government official said Wednesday. The official also asserted that the government is committed to supporting Air India, subject to efficiency-improvement parameters. The Preliminary Information Memorandum for the disinvestment of Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) is expected to be issued in one week, the official said. The AIATSL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India and was incorporated in June 2003. Last year, the government's efforts to sell 76 per cent stake in Air India as part of strategic disinvestment did not take off as there were no bidders. According to the official, the government would support Air India for it to continue as a functional airline, subject to efficiency-improvement parameters. Parliament has approved a Rs 2,345-crore equity infusion into the debt-laden national carrier under the second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants 2018-19. As part of efforts to revive the financial fortunes of the national carrier, the government has decided to transfer debt worth Rs 29,000 crore to Air India Asset Holding Company, a special purpose vehicle. The airline has debt worth around Rs 55,000 crore. Air India is staying afloat on a bailout package extended by the previous UPA regime. The carrier is to receive up to Rs 30,231 crore from the government, subject to meeting certain performance thresholds. The 10-year bailout package began from 2012. Regarding Jet Airways, the official said the government is not involved in the airline's deal-making efforts. "We are not interfering in any kind of deal-making," he said, adding that the ministry's role would come only if there are issues related to foreign direct investment or substantial ownership and effective control. Jet Airways is grappling with acute financial woes and has also cancelled flights due to grounding of some aircraft. PTI RAM HRS

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