The RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch, which is preparing a report to suggest alternative ways to revive Air India, has said most of the respondents in their inputs supported the Manch on the disinvestment issue. A five-member team is preparing a report to suggest alternative ways to revive Air India as it has expressed its reservation over the current form of the disinvestment and has sought to explore other options. The report would be presented to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu soon.
The report would be considered before taking any call on Air India’s disinvestment, sources had earlier told PTI. “We are overwhelmed with the responses to our call for inputs on disinvestment of #AirIndia. Its very encouraging to see, most of respondents agree with our point of view,” SJM co-convener Ashwini Mahajan tweeted yesterday.
The tweet of Mahajan, who leads the five member team, came in the backdrop of the government holding a series of meetings about the disinvestment process even as the deadline for submission of preliminary bids for the stake sale in Air India ends on May 31. A group of ministers, constituted to chalk out the strategy for the disinvestment had met here yesterday.
The meeting was attending by Prabhu, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who holds the additional charge of finance. A separate review meeting surrounding the disinvestment process was also understood to have been chaired by the PMO today.
The government had on May 1 announced extension of the deadline for submission of initial bids for Air India stake sale till May 31 and issued a slew of clarifications on the divestment process, including that individuals other than the airline employees are barred from bidding.
Coming out with a set of clarifications in the form of 160 questions and respective answers, the government also made it clear that it would have the rights of a “minority shareholder” with 24 per cent stake in Air India post disinvestment.
Major private carriers such as IndiGo and Jet Airways have already announced to opt out of the disinvestment process.