As per some media reports, seven potential buyers have shown “genuine” interest in purchasing Air India (AI), the government revealed during a meeting with AI unions in Delhi on Monday.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister, met Air India union representatives earlier this month to iron out issues and held a second round of meeting on Monday.
Puri is part of a four-member group of ministers headed by Amit Shah to decide upon disinvestment of the national carrier. “It was a very positive meeting. The government said seven potential buyers had shown genuine interest in purchasing Air India. He said 100 per cent stake in the airline would be transferred to the buyer and an expression of interest would be floated very soon,” said a reliable source present at the meeting who requested anonymity.
The government also assured the unions that there would be no job losses for up to two years after disinvestment and ruled out a voluntary retirement scheme for existing employees.
It said medical facilities to employees would continue and 25 per cent arrears would be paid before the disinvestment. It was decided that two committees from AI and Air India Engineering Services Ltd would be formed to discuss other issues like gratuity, leave encashment and revised basic salary with Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India. The agreed draft would be placed before the new buyer.
The government also ruled out the sale of Air India Engineering Services Ltd at this stage. Puri said another meeting would be held after February 8.
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