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Govt determined to privatise Air India, says Hardeep Puri

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 29, 2019 Published on August 29, 2019

Hardeep Singh Puri Civil Aviation Minister   -  PTI

 

The Government’s determination to privatise Air India “is a given and is undiluted,” Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said on Thursday.

“It (Air India) should be totally privatised. We have to get the best possible deal and we have to get it in the shortest possible time available,” the Minister said adding that the government should not be in the business of running an airline.

Stating that he would not like to comment on the earlier wavering when the government found itself in a situation of holding back 26 per cent stake in the airline, Puri said there will be a lot of interest in the market for buying Air India. He said the government wants to hand over the airline to whoever is the successful bidder not only on an “as-is where-is basis but a successful money-making business.” The Minister was addressing the media at a day-long interaction organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Puri explained that the first meeting of the administrative mechanism looking into the divestment of Air India will be held soon.

Pointing out that there was a certain amount of impatience on the issue of the divestment of Air India, the Minister said the current government has not even completed 100 days in office.

Air India operating profit

Earlier, addressing a workshop, Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Ashwani Lohani, said the airline was likely to report a healthy operating profit this year. He said the operating loss in the first four months of FY20 was ₹170 crore as against ₹802 crore incurred during the first four months of FY19.

Published on August 29, 2019
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