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Cabinet gives in-principle approval for disinvestment of Air India

By Chennabasaveshwar

Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for disinvestment of Air India.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told media that a group will be set up to finalize modalities/details of disinvestment of Air India.

Cabinet gives in-principle approval for disinvestment of Air India

The Economic Survey 2017 had also recommended this year that government should privatise Air India.

Last month, in a conversation with Doordarshan Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said he had first proposed disinvestment in Air India when he was disinvestment minister in 1999 in the government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He also said that India has a historic second chance, after nearly one-and-a-half decades, to disinvest in state-owned Air India Ltd and help propel the growth of aviation sector.

He hinted that Air India could be the next to one of the entities to see disinvestment.

The Finance Ministry was working on a number of suggestions given by Niti Aayog on revival of Air India which include stake sale to a strategic investor.

Air India's consolidated debt has risen to around Rs 50,000 crore, even as the merger between the Air India and Indian Airlines approved in 2007 did not lead to the desired benefits.

Air India has the largest domestic and long-haul fleet of 140 planes in the country and flies to nearly 41 international and 72 domestic destinations.

(With agency inputs)

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