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Air India, BPCL sale by March 2020, says finance minister

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Filed on November 17, 2019 | Last updated on November 17, 2019 at 07.50 am
Air India, BPCL, finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman

(PTI photo)

Strategic sale of the two companies is critical for the government to meet its disinvestment target.

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the government is planning to sell state-run airline Air India and the oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) by March 2020.

According to  Times of India (TOI) report, the strategic disinvestment of the two state-run companies is critical for the government to meet its target of Rs1 lakh crore for the current fiscal year.

"We are moving on both with the expectation that we can complete them this year. The ground realities will play out," Sitharaman was quoted by TOI, as saying.

The minister added that there is a "lot of interest" among investors which is apparent in international roadshows ahead of Air India's sale. The government had to drop the national carrier's stake sale last year owing to investors' lukewarm response.

But, it is counting on proceeds from disinvestment (which includes the strategic sale and public offers) to bolster its revenues in a year when tax collections suggest a likely fiscal slippage.

However, the government has been taking a lot of steps to arrest the downturn in the economy which is manifested in a lot of sectors coming out of distress, Sitharaman told TOI.

She further added that the industry captains had contributed to improving their balance sheets and many of them were also mulling fresh investments.


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