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Last Updated : Nov 18, 2019 12:42 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Govt to sell BPCL, Air India by March: Nirmala Sitharaman

The privatization of Air India and BPCL is expected to help the government meet its divestment target of Rs 1 lakh crore in the current fiscal year.

The government is aiming to complete the sale of state-run companies Air India and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) by March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

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

The privatisation of the national carrier and oil refiner is expected to help the government meet its divestment target of Rs 1 lakh crore in the current fiscal year.

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This is the government’s second attempt to sell their stake in Air India. In 2018, the government put up 76 percent of Air India for sale, which saw a weak demand from investors.

Sitharaman also told the paper that there was a “lot of interest” among investors for Air India, as seen during international road shows.

The finance minister also said that consumer sentiment was improving, adding that Rs 1.8 lakh crore in loans had been sought from banks at the outreach programme during the festival season.

“If consumer confidence is not on way to being restored, why would you think that such an amount would have gone out as loans during the two outreach programmes started by banks? And, it it is all over the country,” said Sitharaman.

Sitharaman spoke about goods and services tax (GST), saying that collections might rise due to improved sales in some segments and the government’s efforts to reduce leakage.

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First Published on Nov 18, 2019 09:15 am
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