Amit Shah To Head Reconstituted Ministerial Panel On Air India Disinvestment; Resolution Likely Be Year-End

Air India’s first all cargo plane, a converted Airbus A310 at Mumbai airport (Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The ministerial panel which will oversee disinvestment in ailing national carrier Air India has been reconstituted, with the new panel to be headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, reports Livemint.

The new panel, known formally as the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM), will also include Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

In a major change, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari will no longer be part of the panel. The previous version of AISAM was headed by then finance minister Arun Jaitley, while another four ministers were part of the body.

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The previous attempt at disinvestment of the government’s 76 per cent share in the national carrier had failed due to a number of reasons, one of which was that it was retaining 24 per cent stake.

This time around, the Centre may be willing to part with 100 per cent ownership in the airline, as it has already set a high disinvestment target in the budget for the current financial year at Rs 1.05 lakh crore.

The government is looking to conclude the whole process of Air India divestment by December 2019.

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