Monday, February 6, 2023

Govt denies that Tata Group has won Air India bidding

Reports that Air India has gone to Tata Group has been denied by the government. Now it is clear that the final approval on the bidding process is yet to be given. Tata Group and SpiceJet are in the race.

New Delhi: The union government has denied reports that Tata Group has won the Air India bidding.

The secretary to Department of investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Tuhin Kanta pandey on Friday clarified that the media reports claiming approval of financial bids for Air India by the government as ‘incorrect’.

But before the government could pour cold water on the news report suggesting that Air India bid has been won by Tata Group, the report published to this effect by Bloomberg created quite a flutter.

Many were seen congratulating Tatas and hailing the decision as historic. Some were immensely critical of the original decision to nationalise the carrier and remarked that it was good that Air India has gone back to the Tatas, who had originally created it.

Media reports suggested that Tata Group’s bid was approved by a panel of ministers over the bid by Ajay Singh led Spicejet.

However, now that the report has been authoritatively denied, it is learnt that the decision on the bidding process will be taken by The Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) panel headed by Home Minister Amit Shah.

This panel has not met yet to approve the sale of Air India, it is learnt.

This panel has the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal as well as the Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia as its members.

There were four bidders for the top carrier. However, only Tata Group and Speciejet CEO Ajay Singh could make it to the final round.

The bidder that wins will get 100% stake in Air India as well as Air India Express as well as 50 pc stake in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited.

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