Dubai: Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, on Saturday reiterated that government has yet to take a final call on financial bids for Air India divestment and the final winner will be selected through a well defined process, while denying media reports that claimed Tata Sons has been declared the winner.
“I don’t think there’s any such decision that has happened at all. Of course bids were invited. September 15 was the last day bidding date. They will be assessed by officers and in due course of time as is the well laid out process through which the final bidder will be selected,” Goyal said while interacting with media at the India Consulate in Dubai.
A leading new agency on Friday had reported that Tata Group has won the bid for Air India.
Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had denied the reports.
“Media reports indicating approval of financial bids by (the) Government of India in the AI (Air India) disinvestment case are incorrect. Media will be informed of the Government decision as and when it is taken,” Pandey said on social media platform Twitter.
A panel of ministers accepted a proposal from bureaucrats, who recommended the conglomerate’s bid ahead of an offer from entrepreneur Ajay Singh, Bloomberg had reported, quoting anonymous sources, who added that an official announcement is expected in coming days.
Tata Sons, and Ajay Singh, the chairman and managing director of SpiceJet Ltd, had in his personal capacity placed financial bids for the airline.
Air India, unprofitable since a merger with the erstwhile state-run Indian Airlines in 2007-08, had accumulated losses of as much as ₹70,820 crore ( ₹708.2 billion) till 31 March 2020, according to the latest available data.
The writer was in Dubai at the invitation of industry body Ficci.