The Indian Wire » Politics » Priyanka Gandhi hits out of BJP’s plans of selling Air India, BPCL
Politics

Priyanka Gandhi hits out of BJP’s plans of selling Air India, BPCL

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday lashed out at the government over the reported remarks by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that Air India and Bharat Petroleum Corporation will be sold by March 2020. On which congress leader said, alleging ‘BJP is making India’s best organizations hollow and then selling them.’

Her attack comes days after the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reportedly said the government was looking to wrap up the sale of state-run Air India and oil refiner ‘ and marketer Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited by March 2020.

“We are moving on both with the expectation that we can complete them this year. The ground realities will play out,” Ms. Sitharaman was quoted as telling the daily. The Finance Minister’s statement comes at a time the ailing national carrier is facing financial stress, sitting on a debt pile of around Rs. 58,000 crores.

“Our organizations are our pride. These are our ‘golden birds’,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.”

The Congress General Secretary further said: “The BJP had promised to build the country, but they are working to make India’s best organizations hollow and sell them. Sad.”

Air India posted an operating loss of around Rs. 4,600 crore in the last financial year mainly due to higher oil prices and forex losses but the debt-laden carrier expects to turn operationally profitable in 2019-20, according to senior officials.

In the case of  Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a group of secretaries had agreed for the sale of the government’s entire 53.29 percent stake in the company in October. Bharat Petroleum has a market capitalization of about Rs. 1.02 lakh crore. With the sale 53 percent of its stake, the government is hoping to mop up around Rs. 65,000 crores including any entry premium.

“We are moving on both with the expectation that we can complete them this year. The ground realities will play out,” Ms. Sitharaman was quoted as telling the daily. The Finance Minister’s statement comes at a time the ailing national carrier is facing financial stress, sitting on a debt pile of around Rs. 58,000 crores.

For Air India, there is a “lot of interest” among investors, Ms. Sitharaman said.

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