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New Delhi, Dec. 15

THE Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday gave its `in-principle' approval to Air India for the purchase of 68 Boeing aircraft.

Briefing newspersons after the meeting, the Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Praful Patel, said the CCEA also decided to refer the matter to an empowered Group of Ministers (e-GoM).

"The composition of the e-GoM, which will hold one last round of price negotiations with the aircraft manufacturer, will be decided by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. We hope to complete the entire process soon," Mr Patel said.

Earlier this year, an e-GoM headed by the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, was able get a further reduction of more than Rs 340 crore in the price that Indian Airlines will pay for acquiring 43 Airbus aircraft.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 16, 2005)
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