Air India: Centre seeks Parliament approval to invest Rs 2,345 crore into carrier
The request for approval of an equity infusion comes after the proposed stake sale in the state-owned carrier failed.
The government on Thursday sought the Parliament’s approval for an equity infusion of Rs 2,345 crore in state owned-carrier Air India, PTI reported. The government also sought approval to provide grants-in-aid of Rs 1,300 crore to Air India Asset Holding, a special purpose vehicle set up to privatise the ground handling transport business of the state carrier.
The approvals were sought in the second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants 2018-’19 tabled by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha.
In November, the government had decided to transfer Air India’s debt worth Rs 29,000 crore to Air India Asset Holding Company. The airline has debt worth around Rs 55,000 crore.
In March, 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 by the end of the May 31 deadline.
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 had sought Parliament’s approval to sanction a Rs 980-crore supplementary grant for investment in equity shares for Air India during the 2018-’19 financial year. The airline’s total cumulative losses stood at Rs 47,145.62 crore in financial year 2016-’17, according to audited accounts.