Central government is reportedly planning to invite financial bids for privatisation of national carrier Air India by the end of this month. The plan is to wrap up the disinvestment process in the second half of the current calendar year.
The shortlisted entities might be given time till June or early July this year to furnish their financial bids, reported CNBC-TV18. After the bids are locked, the sale of Air India will take another 3-4 months to finalise after evaluation of the financial bids.
Earlier this week, the consortium of Air India employees was disqualified from the disinvestment process. The consortium was being led by Air India Commercial Director Meenakshi Malik, who informed the employees of the development in a letter.
As per reports, this leaves Tata group and SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh, among others, in the race.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in her Budget speech last month that the privatisation of Air India will be completed in 2021-22. It is crucial to meeting Centre's Rs 1.2 lakh crore disinvestment target for the next financial year. Apart from selling its 100 per cent stake in Air India and Air India Express, the government is also looking to offload its 50 per cent share in Air India Airport Services Pvt Ltd.
The Centre is also rushing to divest helicopter service company Pawan Hans, a Mini Ratna-I category PSU.