Air India disinvestment: Government yet to decide, winner to be chosen through procedure, says Piyush Goyal
"Of course, bids were invited, and the officers are evaluating them, and in due course, there will be a well-defined procedure in place to pick the eventual winner," he stated to reporters.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stated on Saturday that the Government has yet to choose Air India and that the eventual winner would be chosen through a well-defined procedure. "I've been in Dubai since day before yesterday, and I don't believe any such decision has been made. Of course, bids were invited...and the officers are evaluating them, and in due course, there will be a well-defined procedure in place to pick the eventual winner," he stated to reporters. He responded to a query regarding media reports that said Tatas was the leading bidder for the takeover of debt-ridden Air India.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary to the Agency of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), the government department in charge of privatisation, stated in a tweet that the Centre had not authorised any financial proposal for Air India.
"Reports in the media claiming that the Government of India has approved financial bids in the AI disinvestment case are false. The media will be notified of the Government's decision as soon as it is made," he tweeted about it. When questioned about the potential free trade deal with the UAE, he stated that there are several prospects for Indian firms in industries such as textiles, gems and jewellery, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. He went on to say that there is enormous potential in both products and services. In terms of investment, he stated, "We need to encourage Indian firms to connect with the UAE."
Bloomberg News earlier had reported that the salt-to-software conglomerate would re-acquire the national carrier and will be again flying under the Tata Group after a gap of 68 years. Earlier this month the ministry said it had received bids for the airline, but did not name the bidders. Tata Group and SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh had bid for the embattled state-run Air India in his private capacity earlier this month.