June 29: The Union Government is said to have kickstarted parleys with the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to sell the Air India building at Nariman Point, Mumbai to the port trust. With this move, the government aims to raise funds for the impoverished Indian carrier.
As per reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already granted an in-principle approval for the Air India building sale. Post this, an inter-ministerial panel has been established to work on the modalities.
The building in Mumbai, which is to be sold, was once the headquarters of the Air India. As it is one of the topmost properties of the airline company, it is expected to garner high values.
The government is taking such a move post its failure in the disinvestment of Air India. As per the source close to the issue, in order to look into the valuation of the company, a committee has been set up. The members of the committee include Secretaries from the Civil Aviation and Shipping Ministries. The Civil Aviation Ministry looks over Air India while the Shipping Ministry watches over JNPT.
According to the reports, the building known as Air India Building, will be renamed after it is sold to JNPT. Addressing the building as ‘cash cow’ for the company, some of the Air India officials revealed that there is an internal group who is strongly opposing such moves.
India’s biggest port, JNPT at Navi Mumbai was earlier known as the Nhava Sheva Port. Around 55% of the container cargo in the country is managed at the port. In the year 2017- 18 it handled 66 million container cargos. An annual profit worth Rs 1300 crore is the annual profit of the port.