The group of ministries set up to decide on the modalities for Air India disinvestment is yet to hold its first meeting, panel member and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today. As part of efforts to revive the loss-making airline, the Cabinet last month gave its in-principle approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries. A few players have evinced interest in the debt-laden national carrier. A group of ministers, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has been set up to looking into various aspects of Air India disinvestment.
When asked about the ministerial group on Air India, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters, “So far, no meeting has happened.” The group would look into the treatment of unsustainable debts of the national carrier, hiving off certain assets to a shell company and de-merger and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries, among others. Air India has a debt burden of more than Rs 52,000 crore. It is surviving on little over Rs 30,000 crore bailout package extended by the previous UPA government.