Bidders arm-twisting government to sell Air India cheaply, says unions

The unions have declared to take up the issue with the PMO and the Civil Aviation Ministry, among others.

Published: 12th April 2018 01:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2018 06:47 AM   |  A+A-

Air India office in Mumbai | Reuters

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Amidst major private players pulling out of Air India disinvestment process, a group of Air India unions have alleged that probable bidders are using arm-twisting tactics to force the government sell the national carrier for cheap.

The unions have declared to take up the issue with the PMO and the Civil Aviation Ministry, among others.

“The so-called probable buyers are using arm-twisting tactics to put pressure on the government to change the terms and conditions best suited to them and sell the Air India for a song,” the Joint Forum of Air India Unions/Guilds/Associations said in a statement.

Earlier, major private players Indigo and Jet Airways had said that they will not participate in the stake sell process.

Jet Airways also said it had decided not to participate in the Air India sale process considering the terms of offer in the information memorandum and based on its review.

On Wednesday, sources said that Tata Group, widely seen as a potential suitor for Air India, is unlikely to consider a bid for Air India as the Centre’s terms are just too onerous. This group already owns stakes in two airline JVs in India.

On March 28, the Civil Aviation Ministry came out with preliminary information memorandum on Air India’s strategic disinvestment, as per which, the government plans to offload 76 per cent equity share capital of the carrier, as well as transfer the management control.


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