New Delhi: A day after the bids for acquiring state-run carrier Air India were submitted by Tata Sons and SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh, media reports on Friday suggested that the Central government could select the winner of the bid in approximately three weeks.Also Read - SpiceJet Puts Image of PM Modi, Healthcare Workers on Aircraft to Celebrate India's 100 Crore Vaccination Milestone
As per a report by Business Standard, two high-level committees will decide the reserve price for the national carrier within this period. The report also said this will be one of the final steps in the Air India divestment process, following which the Centre will plan to complete the transaction by December. Also Read - Viral Video: SpiceJet Air Hostesses Groove to Justin Bieber’s ‘Stay’ at Training Centre, Internet Loves It | Watch
As per the report, the price of the airline will be decided by an inter-ministerial group (IMG) which will be headed by the secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), based on inputs from government-appointed valuers. Also Read - Air India Unions Write to Govt, Express Concern Over Cash, Leave, Medical Benefits of Employees
“Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by transaction adviser. The process now moves to the concluding stage,” secretary, DIPAM, tweeted on Wednesday.
After the decision was taken by the inter-ministerial group, the Core Group of Secretaries on Divestment (CGD) will take a final call on the reserve price.
As per the current bidders, either Tata Sons or SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh will acquire Air India. However, the inter-ministerial group is currently evaluating the process.
After the final reserve price is determined, the proposal will be floated before the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM), which is heading by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. AISAM members include the finance minister, commerce minister and aviation minister.
As per the report, the Centre wants to stick to the December deadline for completing the entire process. However, it will depend on whether the government and the winner of the bid are in agreement.
On Wednesday, Tata Sons and SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh had submitted financial bids to acquire loss-making state airline Air India.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary of the department that is running the privatisation process, tweeted of financial “bids” being received but did not say how many companies were in fray.
“Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser. Process now moves to concluding stage,” Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey tweeted.
The Tata Group founded Air India as Tata Airlines in October 1932. The government nationalised the airline in 1953.
The government is seeking to sell 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.