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Govt extends bid submission deadline for Air India sale by 2 months

The government has decided to extend the bid submission deadline for the sale of Air India by two months to July 31

The government has decided to extend the bid submission deadline for the sale of Air India by two months to July 31.
  • This is the third time that the deadline has been extended for the privatisation of the national carrier

  • The last date for intimation to the qualified interested bidders has been extended from July 14 to September 14, a DIPAM notification said

New Delhi: The government has decided to extend the bid submission deadline for the sale of Air India by two months in the wake of requests received from interested bidders in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an official notification released online, the DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management) said, “The above changes are as per the requests received from the IBs in view of the prevailing situation arising out of COVID-19.” This is the third time that the deadline has been extended for the privatisation of the national carrier. PSU Watch had earlier reported on May 27 that sources have said that more deadline extensions are on the way and that the government is resorting to wait and watch approach for its disinvestment plans for the current fiscal.

Air India sale: The new dates for bid submission

According to the notification, the last date for submission of bids for Air India sale has now been extended to August 31 from June 30. And the last date for intimation to the qualified interested bidders has been extended from July 14 to September 14. “Further changes with respect to the Important Dates, if any, will be communicated to the Interested Bidders subsequently,” said the notification.

The backdrop

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have disrupted economic activities across the world. The aviation sector has taken a major hit and has announced layoffs and pay cuts for staff. In this scenario, it is likely that the situation may continue and more deadline extensions could be in the offing. Apart from Air India, the other big privatisation exercise undertaken by the government is that of oil marketing company BPCL. The EoI submission deadline for BPCL has also been extended from June 13 to July 31. However, the government has reiterated its intention of going ahead with the privatisation plan and put the two companies up for sale to private players.

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