Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday while Addressing a virtual meet on Namo app said the govt should not be running airports and airlines. The privatisation process of the Air India should be done within this year (2020).
“Air India has been an asset and has a very good record. But, the Central government should not be running airports and airlines. I’m hopeful that we will complete its privatisation process this year,” Puri said.
He further added, “I can tell you from my heart the government should not be running airports and the government should not be running airlines.”
Minister @HardeepSPuri ji tells why Air India privatisation is a right step for the country and Air India.
Watch full video here- https://t.co/8ohK7FJu6B@narendramodi @MoCA_GoI @airindiain #NAMOAppVirtualMeet pic.twitter.com/OJ4ZBiSUyO— NAMO App Virtual Meet (@NMAppVrtualMeet) August 30, 2020Advertisement
The remarks come at a time when the Kerala government has opposed the Union Cabinet’s approval on August 19 to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani Enterprises under the public-private partnership (PPP) model for a period of 50 years.
The Centre-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) which owns and manages over 100 airports, including the one in Kerala’s capital city.
Talking about privatizing Air India, Puri said that as a going concern, one that’s attractive to potential bidders, we should privatize it (Air India). “And I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to complete that privatization process during this year.”
Last Tuesday, the Central government extended by two months the deadline for placing bids for Air India till October 30 because the COVID-19 fallout has disrupted economic activity globally.
The process of stake sale in the national carrier, Air India was initiated on January 27 and this is often the fourth extension given by the govt for putting bids in place.
The central government privatized six major airports — Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati — in February 2019. After a competitive bidding process, Adani Enterprises won the rights to run all of them.