Air India, Bharat Petroleum sale by March 2020: Nirmala Sitharaman


India Today, 17-11-2019 20:23:24


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Air India, Bharat Petroleum sale by March 2020: Nirmala Sitharaman

Government’s plans to raise Rs 1 lakh crore in the current fiscal from the sale of Air India and BPCL as India continues to tackle a demand slowdown.

HIGHLIGHTS

Government plans to sell its stake in Air India and BPCL by March 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently announced the government’s plan

Centre plans to Rs 1 lakh crore from the sale of the two state-owned assets

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that the government plans to wrap up sale of ailing Air India and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) by March 2020.

Speaking to Times of India, the finance minister confirmed that the government is focused on divesting the two state-run companies by the end of the financial year.

This will form a crucial chunk of the government’s plan to raise Rs 1 lakh crore in the current fiscal as India continues to tackle a steep demand slowdown.

We are moving on both with the expectation that we can complete them this year. The ground realities will play out, Sitharaman told the publication.

Sitharaman also said investor interest about Air India is optimistic at the moment, contrary to a tepid response received during the bidding process a year ago.

The sale of the two state-owned companies could provide a cushion to the government as it struggles to cope with one of the steepest demand slowdowns in the last few decades.

Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the government is on the right track towards resolving the economic slowdown and added that several sectors are now coming out of distress.

On taxation, she expected Goods and Services Tax collections to bounce back citing improvement in some sectors and recent steps taken to provide a boost to the ailing economy.

While several ratings agencies have lowered India’s GDP growth forecast for the quarter ended September below 5 per cent, Sitharaman exuded confidence that the economy will bounce back in due course.

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