Financial Strain Compels Government to Sell Off Air India and Bharat Petroleum

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

In a brand new addition to the selling out of Indian owned corporations to private hands, the government has recently announced that two of its debt ridden state owned companies, Air India and Bharat Petroleum Corporation will be sold by coming March. This revelation has been made by our Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in an interview with The Times of India. The statement issued by our finance minister comes at a time when the Indian economy is undergoing a major financial crisis and the economy is experiencing an urgent financial stress.

The economy is experiencing a debt pile of Rs 58,000 crore. It was earlier in the month that the Chairperson of Air India issued an open letter to Air India employees and said that the disinvestment may prove beneficial in the long term. Sitharaman said that a lot of investors were interested to take over Air India and that this was indeed a positive sign.

The Cabinet has recently approved the changes in the process of disinvestment where the prospective bidders would be heard during roadshows before the Hols are floated so that a large number of buyers concerns can be addressed in due time.

Last year, the government did not get a single bidder. The government presently golds 100% equity of the Air India. The Air India didi not receive any bidder last year as the investors feared that the government would interfere too much with the remaining 24% stake, this has been reported by aviation consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation in its report.

This hurdle has been lifted from the path. Air India had been suffering huge losses due to rising oil prices and forex losses but the debt drawn carrier is expected to now run profitable operations.  Bharat Petroleum on the other hand too will have 53% of its Stakes sold to private players and with this the government plans to put it back on the model of profit. This can take care of the major part of the sell-off target.


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