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NEW DELHI: The epidemic has given Air India a fourth extension to bifurcate. Now, interested bidders can place their bids by 30 October instead of the end of the month. And, qualified interested bidders (IBs) will be notified by 20 November by the third extended deadline instead of 14 September.
“The sale of Air India changes as per the request received from the IB in view of the prevailing situation arising from Kovid-19,” the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said in an Interest Rate (EoI) issued on Tuesday. The second stake sale process was initiated on January 27, 2020, after the bid failed two years earlier.
The government has spared no effort in its second attempt to sell debt-ridden AI. It allowed NRIs, who are Indian nationals, to own up to 100% stake in the airline without violating adequate ownership and effective control norms.
The combined burden of debt-cum-liabilities of AI is around Rs 90,000 crore. This time the government has increased the terms of sale to a great extent. It has offered to sell its 100% stake in AI and AI Express – instead of 76% in the first attempt – and the entire 50% it owns land in dealing with the joint venture AI-SATS. The eligibility conditions for the bidders have been relaxed and they will be expected to take Rs 32,447 crore of loan-cum-liabilities – essentially the present value of 146 aircraft they get – totaling Rs 88,781 crore. Will keep it with you. 56,334 crores Rs.
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