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Govt offers 100% stake for Air India

Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman announced on January 25 that the government is keen to sell off stake in both the national airline Air India and oil refining and marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) by March this year. The government has made some changes to its earlier offer for Air India which had failed to elicit investor interest. Firstly it is offering to sell 100% stake in both AI and AI Express, instead of 76% earlier. This will give complete operational control to the new owner. Moreover, bidders had to take over debt of Rs 24,576 crore and current liabilities of Rs 8,816 crore in the previous offer, which amounted to Rs 33,392 crore. In this round, the debt would be reduced by almost a third to Rs 23,286 crore, all of which is backed by aircraft part of the transaction.