Tata group likely to show interest in buying stake in Air India
With the Union Government mulling privatisation of Air India, the Tata Group has shown an interest in buying a stake in the debt-laden national carrier, said reports.
The Air India is currently reeling under a debt Rs 50,000 crore which has prompted the government to seek NITI Aayog's suggestion to divest it. The government is looking at either full or partial privatisation to revive the national carrier.
The Tata group has, meanwhile, refrained from commenting on the matter.
Reports suggest that the the Civil Aviation Ministry is not keen on complete privatisation of the airline and scenario of the government retaining 51 per cent stake in it is being worked out. The rest 49 percent could be sold to private players.
On the other hand, the unions of Air India employees have warned the government of large scale protests if the proposal to privatise the airline is approved.
A letter, collectively written by AI Air Corporate Employees Union, AI Employees Union, AI Aircraft Engineers' Association, United Air India Officers' Association, AI Engineer's Association, AI Cabin Crew Association and AI Service Engineers' Association, states that their employees are "agitated and apprehensive" over the issue.
Raising concerns over the job losses due to the proposed move, the letter says that the move to privatise would lead to 'industrial unrest and disharmony'.
Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju had last week said that the ministry was looking at all possible alternatives to make the airline viable.
It is interesting to note that it was the Tata group that set up Tata Airlines in 1932 which was later nationalised and re-named to Air India.
Air India has been surviving on a Rs 30,000 crore bail- out package spread over 10 years announced by the Manmohan Singh government in 2012.