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Amit Shah-led ministerial panel discusses Air India disinvestment issues

Air India currently has a debt of nearly Rs 60,000 crore which includes long-term loan for aircraft purchase and working capital.

Amit Shah-led ministerial panel discusses Air India disinvestment issues

New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah-led ministerial panel met in New Delhi on Thursday to discuss several key issues related to Air India including disinvestment of the national carrier, transfer of debt to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

In February 2019, an SPV namely Air India Assets Holding Ltd. (AIAHL) was created for warehousing accumulated working Capital Loan not backed by any asset along with four Subsidiaries (Air India Air Transport Services Ltd. (AIATSL), Airline Allied Services Ltd. (AASL), Air India Engineering Services Ltd. (AIESL) and Hotel Corporation of India Ltd. (HCI), non-core assetspainting and artefacts and other non-operational assets of Air India Ltd. to an SPV.

The government had decided to transfer debt of Air India amounting to Rs 29,464 crore to the newly-created SPV. Subsidiaries which are not part of Air India strategic disinvestment like AIATSL, AIESL, AASL were also to be shifted to the SPV

Air India currently has a debt of nearly Rs 60,000 crore which includes long-term loan for aircraft purchase and working capital.

The Ministerial panel which includes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

In her Union Budget 2019 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the government will reinitiate the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India, and offer more CPSEs for strategic participation by the private sector.

The Finance Minister had also set a target of Rs 1, 05,000 crore of disinvestment receipts for the FY 2019-20.

During its first term, the Modi government had tried to exit from the debt-burdened Air India, but it failed to get any potential buyer, and had to eventually defer plans of divestment.