Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Wednesday said discussions on a bailout package for the state-run carrier Air India are at an “advanced stage”, Reuters reported.
Sinha had said in August that the ministry was working on a comprehensive package to make Air India globally competitive again before the Centre divests its shares.
The government had planned to divest 76% stake in Air India, ignoring a parliamentary panel’s recommendation to give the debt-ridden airline five years to revive itself. The proposed stake sale, however, failed to take off as the Centre did not receive any expressions of interest from potential bidders.
“We are going through the government approval process,” Sinha said, without giving more details.
In 2012, the government had promised to infuse Rs 50,000 crore in the airline till 2032. The company has received Rs 27,195 crore till date.
In July, the Centre sought Parliament’s approval to sanction Rs 980-crore supplementary grant for investment in equity shares for Air India during the 2018-’19 financial year. Reports said the airline had requested additional equity from the government worth Rs 2,121 crore for the 2018-’19 financial year so that it can pay its vendors. The carrier owes about Rs 1,800 crore to its vendors.
The airline’s total cumulative losses stood at Rs 47,145.62 crore in financial year 2016-17, according to audited accounts.