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aviation | IST

Air India will not be sold if bid price is inadequate, says government

The government will decide the highest bidder for the national-carrier, Air India, by the end of August, said RN Choubey, union civil aviation secretary.
The qualified bidders for Air India's 76% stake will be announced on June 15, 2018.
If the government found out that the bid price is inadequate, it will not sell the airline, said Choubey.
According to the memorandum, the government plans to offload 76% equity share capital of Air India as well as transfer the management control.
Government is also free to change the floor price at any point of time, sources said. The highest bidder would be declared as the buyer after requisite security clearances.
The divestment includes the profit-making Air India Express and AISATS, an equal joint venture between the national carrier and the Singapore-based SATS Ltd.
In a related development, sources told Jet Airways has not sent any informal interest to the ministry, after chairman Naresh Goyal had expressed interest in sale of Air India.
Meanwhile, union civil aviation secretary will be meeting the union revenue secretary on Tuesday for bringing aviation turbine fuel (ATF) under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
Currently, ATF is not under the GST ambit and the levy on it varies from state to state.
A proposal to bring ATF under the GST will allow airlines to claim input tax credit from the government is among the issues likely to be discussed.
Earlier, government cut the GST on the bunker fuel from 18% to 5%, providing huge relief to the traders.
The government is also mulling changes to norms for inviting private players to run Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports.
The ownership will remain with Airports Authority of India (AAI), but private players will operate the airport, said the sources, adding that the government is looking at privatising three more airports after June this year.
Denying the reports that the employee unions are opposing the move, sources said, they are not unhappy and the government will protect employees’ service conditions.