Days After Warning Centre, Subramanian Swamy Issues Alternative To Outright Air India Sale


BJP MP Subramanian Swamy reiterated once again that the selling of Air India was not a possibility and suggested the ONGC example as an alternative solution.

Written By Akhil Oka | Mumbai | Updated On:
Subramanian Swamy

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday reiterated once again that the selling of Air India was not a possibility. Instead, he cited the example of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) as an alternative solution. Basically, the BJP MP contended that 49% of the shares of Air India should be listed in the stock exchange, a strategy pursued by ONGC. Earlier in the week, he described Air India as “family silver”. Calling the Centre's bid for the disinvestment of the government-owned airline as “anti-national”, Dr. Swamy warned that he would have to approach the court to halt this process.   

Read: Subramanian Swamy Ready To Take Centre To Court Over 'anti-national' Air India Divestment

Read: Coronavirus: Air India Flight On Standby, Gujarat Pupils In China Might Be Evacuated Soon

Swamy argues against the outright sale of Air India

Swamy has consistently advocated against the outright sale of Air India. In early 2019, he wrote to the Civil Aviation Ministry asking for Jet Airways to be merged with the national carrier, which he contended would help it regain its premier position. Subsequently, he proposed that the government should list only 49% of Air India’s shares on the stock market. 

Read: 'Bankrupt Govt Without Choice': Kapil Sibal On New Air India Divestment Plan

Air India disinvestment bid

Announcing the sale of a 100% stake in debt-laden Air India, the government has set the deadline for submitting Expression of Interest as March 17, 2020. As a part of the disinvestment, Air India would sell a 100% stake in Air India Express and 50% shareholding in AISATS, an equal joint venture between Air India and Singapore Airlines. The government-owned airline’s interests in entities such as Air India Engineering Services, Air India Air Transport Services, Airline Allied Services and Hotel Corporation of India would not be a part of the disinvestment transaction. As per the bid document, a debt of Rs.23,286.5 crore would remain with Air India and Air India Express at the time of closing of the disinvestment.  

Read: Air India Disinvestment: New Deadline Set For Receiving EOI, Bidding Norms Eased

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