The government wants the disinvestment of National Carrier, Air India to be completed by the end of 2020.
Disclosing this to CNBC-TV18 on Thursday, Union Civil Aviation Minister (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri said: “Answer is an emphatic No. We would not have given this extension also. But some prospective bidders requested the concerned government departments and transaction advisors that under these conditions they would find it difficult to come here. So this was a difficult decision made after considerable consideration.”
Puri was responding to a question on whether the government would postpone Air India divestment beyond the current financial year 2020-21 (April-March) due to COVID-19.
The government had recently extended the deadline till October 30 for submission of preliminary bids to buy 100 percent stake in Air India. It is understood that Tata Sons is currently evaluating the proposal and will consider a bid after due consideration and at the appropriate time.
No further extensions to the bidding dates would mean that by November 20, 2020 the Maharaja could have a new suitor.