According to a recent news report in the Times of India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government would wrap up the sale of Air India along with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) by March 2020. The strategic disinvestment of the two state-run companies is critical for the government to meet its disinvestment target of ₹1 trillion for the current fiscal year.
“We are moving on both with the expectation that we can complete them this year. The ground realities will play out,” says Sitharaman in an interview with the Times of India. The minister also said there is a “lot of interest” among investors about the sale of Air India as seen in the international roadshows carried out by the government.
Further, she added that the government has taken measures to reverse the economic slowdown at the right time and several sectors are coming out of distress including the aviation industry. She also added that the industry captains had contributed to improving their balance sheets and many of them were also mulling fresh investments.
In the past, the government had to shelve plans for Air India’s stake sale earlier due to lukewarm response by investors.