New Delhi: In the backdrop of the Coronavirus lockdown, the government has once again extended the last date for the submission of EoIs (Expression of Interest) for the divestment of 100 percent stake in Air India. According to a notification posted on the DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management) website, the last date for the submission of EoIs for sale of Air India has been extended from April 30 to June 30.
The news comes as both the aviation and the oil sectors have been hit badly because of the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, casting a cloud of uncertainty over the government's disinvestment plan for Air India and BPCL. PSU Watch had earlier quoted sources as saying that bidders for BPCL have not abandoned the deal but have sought more time.
This is the second time that the government has extended the deadline for Air India divestment. In March, it had extended the deadline for the submission of EoIs for Air India till April 30. "The above changes are in view of the requests received from the IBs and the prevailing situation arising out of COVID-19," the DIPAM notification on Air India sale had said.
The disinvestment of Air India and BPCL and the LIC IPO are three major deals that the government is relying on to meet its target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore in the current financial year. It becomes all the more important in the current scenario as the government is trying to cut spending and boost its revenue to be able to give away stimulus packages to various sectors to get the economy back on its feet. The government had missed the revised disinvestment target of Rs 65,000 crore for FY2019-20 by Rs 14,701 crore.