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EoI for Air India, Pawan Hans in few weeks time, says Aviation Minister

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 31, 2019 Published on December 31, 2019

Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister   -  PTI

Govt looks for greater participation of the private sector in airports management

The government is committed to not only divest its stake in Air India and Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited but also see greater participation of the private sector in the management of airports around the country, two senior officials said on Tuesday.

“For us it is not an option, it has to be privatised. There are no two ways about it. That is the correct picture. We have learnt from that experience (previous sale of AI) and it our endevaour now that we will be issuing an Expression of Interest in the coming few weeks. Hopefully, sooner than later and the process of privatisation will then set in,” Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Independent Charge, Civil Aviation said at a press conference here.

Refusing to draw a time line for the AI sale, the Minister said that the government is trying to do it as quickly as possible. “Whether it happens by March or June……. We do not become slave to or victims of certain deadlines. We are doing it seriously we had a meeting yesterday for several hours. We will have a meeting of the Administrative Mechanism (set up to take the AI divestment forward) in the coming week or weeks. Then we will take the process forward,” he added.

The Minister added the government is in the final stages of completing the divestment of Pawan Hans and the Expression of Interests will be issued in a few days time. “The two are linked. The old process for which bids were received which were not valid and all. The conclusion of that and initiation of the new process are linked. Both decisions will happen together, P.S. Kharola, Secretary Civil Aviation said when asked whether the previous bids had been called off.

The Minister pointed out that the six airports which have been privatised will be paying ₹2300 crore up front to the AAI which will be used to develop other airports.

The government recently awarded the contract for involving the private sector in the operation and management of six airports including Mangaluru, Thiruvanthapuram, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. AAI had sought bids for the operation and management of existing airport assets as well as their upgradation and development of additional air-side terminals, city-side and land-side infrastructure for 50 years

Published on December 31, 2019
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