South African Airways (SAA) and Air India

In another bail out, Modi government seeks fresh capital for cash-strapped Air India

Air India
It seems that the center’s love for “Maharaja” is far from over as in a fresh development, the Modi led government has sought from Parliament for equity infusion worth Rs. 2,345 crore.

Moreover, the government has sought for an additional Rs. 1,300 crore for Air India Asset Holding. Center is leaving no stone unturned to revive the national carrier, as the part of the plan, it has decided to transfer debt worth Rs. 29,000 crore to Air India Asset Holding Company, a special purpose vehicle. The debt of Air India has been piling for a long time and currently, it is somewhere around Rs. 55,000 crore.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the request in the second batch of supplementary demands for Grants 2018-19. In the request, the finance ministry has sought for Rs 2,345 crore equity infusion into the airline under a turnaround plan.

Since the start of the year, the government has planned for strategic stake sale offer in Air India but the offer failed to attract any bidder. Apart from the strategic sale, it has been exploring other options to improve the financial position of the national carrier.

It is not only the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led NDA which has been trying to bail out Air India. The UPA government in 2012 had announced a 10-year bailout package of up to Rs. 30,000 crore for the cash-strapped airline. The bailout was to be disbursed in a phased manner till 2022. Additionally, for the current fiscal, the incumbent BJP has also sought for an additional gross expenditure of Rs. 85,948.86 crore.

This year, the national carrier had also requested the government for an amount of Rs 2,000 crore on an immediate basis after the government’s plan to divest a 76 percent stake in Air India found no takers.

The government has already injected around Rs 980 crore into the airline as equity and granted the airline sovereign guarantee to raise Rs 2,000 crore from banks. Out of the given window, Air India has already raised Rs 1,500 crore.

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