Aug 8: The Civil Aviation Ministry is seeking a bailout package worth Rs 11,000 crore for debt-laden carrier Air India. The move comes after the national carrier failed to generate interest among bidders for purchase of stake, forcing the government to temporary halt the stake sale process.
According to news reports, the Civil Aviation Ministry is now carrying out preliminary talks with the Finance Ministry for grabbing the bailout package for Air India. The package is likely to be utilised to bring down the high-cost working capital loans of the national carrier.
The move is also being pushed keeping in mind the prospect of increased interest from buyers. The government would be eyeing to strike with the stake sale process once again with a clean balance sheet of the airlines. Air India has declined to comment on the matter since it being concerned with the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The bailout package is in addition to the supplementary grant worth Rs 980 crore that was sought by the government. Air India had been previously granted an equity infusion, and is currently afloat the infusion after getting it extended by UPA government back in 2012. The carrier has received an equity infusion of Rs 650 crore up to June. The losses of the carrier have mounted to over Rs 48,000 as of March 31, 2018.
The financial burdens of the airlines have also put the carrier in a situation where it’s struggling hard to disburse the salaries of its employees. Air India is reportedly yet to pay the salary of its employees for the month of July, making it the fifth month in a row in which the salary payment has been delayed.