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Tata frontrunner, final decision on sale of Air India to be announced soon!

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New Delhi: Amid media reports that Air India has been sold to Tata Group which was later denied by the Government, the wait seems to be over as the new owner of Air India would be decided in the next few days in which Tata Group has emerged as the frontrunner.

However, the financial bids for the flag carrier are being scrutinised by the competent authorities and formal approval is yet to be announced. Sources said that the Mumbai-based Tata Group has placed the highest bid – over Rs 5000 crore which is more than SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh’s bid, who has participated in his individual capacity in the bidding process.

Sources said that at present senior government officials are conducting separate meetings with the two bidders regarding other aspects of the sale such as the indemnity clause and carry over debt levels of the airline. More or less, the final decision can be made within the next few days by the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM).

Actually, the AISAM headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah is an empowered GoM, which has the authority to take the final call on the matter, without the need of any Cabinet approval. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia are other members of it. The AISAM is scheduled to meet after all its members are back in the country. After the announcement of the winning bid is made, the process of a complete handover is expected to take place within three-four months time.

The Government wants the process to be completed by February 2022. Representatives of both the bidders were called for meeting on two occasions earlier this week during which the share-purchase agreement was discussed to help them take a long view of Air India’s various liabilities.

The Government of India on September 15 had received multiple financial bids for the divestment of national career Air India. The government has of late taken several steps to fast track the much-delayed privatisation of the national carrier. Recently, the Centre decided to waive taxes on the transfer of assets from the national carrier to Air India Assets Holding Ltd, a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

In the Budget speech for FY2021-22, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that all the proposed privatisation process would be completed by the end of the fiscal, including the much delayed strategic disinvestment of Air India.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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