Considering the current Pandemic Situation, the government has decided to postpone the process of divestment in Air India by two months more. The new deadline for submitting an expression of interest (EoI) is now August 31 and deadline for intimating qualified bidders is now September 14.
According to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, the decision for the postponement was taken based on “requests received from interested bidders in view of the prevailing situation arising out of Covid-19.” The prospect bidders have been affected due to the COVID and so they need time to be ready for placing bids.
Government has postponed the divestment process earlier also and as the situation has not improved yet, the deadlines of the process involved have been extended again.
The government has been suffering due to the delay in its divestment plan for Air India whose debt-cum-liabilities combined burden is almost Rs 90,000 crore. So, in order, to expedite its divestment plan, the government has relaxed the sales term. For instance, it has increased the permitted shareholding in Air India and Air India Express to 100 per cent from 76 per cent, in the first attempt.