To a query on whether the CBI case against AirAsia could have any negative impact on Air India stake sale process since foreign investors have also been named in the FIR, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey replied in the negative.
The CBI case against AirAsia and its officials for alleged efforts to manipulate government policies would not have any impact on Air India’s disinvestment process, according to a senior official. The deadline for submitting Expression of Interest (EoI) for 76 per cent stake in the debt-laden Air India is ending today. To a query on whether the CBI case against AirAsia could have any negative impact on Air India stake sale process since foreign investors have also been named in the FIR, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey replied in the negative.
“I don’t think so… The decision as important as buying Air India is not taken on individual events of this kind,” he said here on Wednesday. “These individual events, I don’t think, will have an impact (on Air India disinvestment),” he added. The government has proposed to offload 76 per cent equity share capital of the national carrier as well as transfer the management control to private players.
The information memorandum said the transaction would involve Air India, its low cost arm Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd. The latter is an equal joint venture between the national carrier and Singapore-based SATS Ltd, as per the preliminary information memorandum issued in March. On Tuesday, the CBI named AirAsia India, its officials as well as AirAsia Berhad in an FIR for allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get international licence for its Indian venture.
The same day, Air Asia India refuted any wrong-doing and said it was co-operating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts. The airline is a joint venture between the Tatas and Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad, where the former has 51 per cent stake. In a filing to the Malaysian stock exchange on Wednesday, AirAsia Berhad denied accusations and contentions, saying that it believes that “these trumped up accusations are baseless and motivated by considerations that as yet remain unknown”.