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Government targets $1 billion from sale of Air India

PW Bureau

The deal has been the key focus of the Modi government in their attempt to keep the fiscal deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP, a target which is already in jeopardy New Delhi: The Indian government has shelved a plan to raise US$1 billion from the sale of debt-laden state carrier Air India, the deal being the key focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in their attempt to keep the fiscal deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP, a target which is already in jeopardy. “We are eyeing USD 1 billion from the sale of Air India,” the official said. The government plans strategic disinvestment of Air India in the second half of 2019-20 while working towards selling some of its subsidiaries and monetise assets. The carrier has a debt burden of Rs 55,000 crore. A ministerial panel, in November had approved transferring Rs 29,000 crore debt to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) — Air India Asset Holding Company. The panel was headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Jaitley-led panel decided to scrap the stake sale plan for the time being, following a botched attempt in May last year. In September, Air India invited bids to sell its properties located across the country. The airline had put up for sale 28 flats in Mumbai, seven flats in Ahmedabad, and two flats and an office space in Pune, besides several other properties across the country. On December 27, the civil aviation ministry told the Lok Sabha that the government has prepared a revival plan for Air India.