After a no-show from bidders for national carrier Air India, the government is mulling several options regarding its divestment, including listing the airline on stock exchanges, a source told CNBC-TV18.
The official close to the development said the Centre is open to the idea of listing Air India before its divestment.
By selling shares in an initial public offering (IPO), the government will be able to retain its stake in Air India. Moreover, this will also help in raising money to fund the airline's operation, explained this source.
"We can look at selling the shares later so that we can capitalise on financial gains made after listing," the source said.
The centre is open to the idea of listing Air India like the government had attempted with Hindustan Zinc Limited in the past and as the German government did with Lufthansa.The German government had listed the airline in mid 1990s and roped in a corporate board to run the airline but retained a stake for few years and finally privatised it completely after it became profitable in 1997.
A group of ministers under the chairmanship of finance minister is likely to meet next week to discuss possible ways to revive the Air India divestment process.
"While we are considering all options, we are very are clear that foreign entity will not be given ownership and control of Air India," he added.
In fact, the government is re-examining its clauses for the divestment in light of concerns raised by potential interested parties.
These issues relate to the over Rs 33,000 crore debt, government retaining 24 per cent stake and labour concerns.
Interim finance minister Piyush Goyal told CNBC-TV18 in a recent interview that "ministers responsible will look at the model again to make it a viable proposition."
While the group of ministers are yet to deliberate on ways to revive the divestment process, Swadeshi Jagran Manch had mooted a similar idea of an IPO and will soon be submitting a roadmap on ways to revive the ailing Maharajah.
Earlier today, Meanwhile,
Bloomberg reported the government is considering the idea of selling the entire stake in Air India . last Thursday, the airline said that it needs an immediate short-term loan of Rs 1000 crore for its day-to-day operations.