Govt can privatize AI or shut it down: Puri

The Union government will have to either privatize Air India Ltd or shut it down because of its large debt, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday.

The minister, however, said that if the government can, it will continue to run the flag carrier. But, with ₹60,000 crore debt, the choice is between privatization and closing down the airline, Puri told the Rajya Sabha before the passage of the Aircraft Amendment Bill 2020. “We are confident that Air India will be given to a new owner to keep the flag flying high,” he said.

Air India has received an equity infusion of ₹30,520.21 crore till date from the government since FY 2011-12, which includes financial support and cash support.

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