New Delhi, (PTI): The government on Wednesday said it has received multiple financial bids for buying national carrier Air India.

Meanwhile, a Tata Sons spokesperson told PTI that it has put in a bid for the airline.

"Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser. Process now moves to concluding stage," DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey tweeted.

The government is seeking to sell 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India's 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

The stake sale process, which begun on January 2020, faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2021, the government asked potential bidders to put in financial bids.

Wednesday (September 15) was the last day for putting in financial bids.

Tata Group was among the multiple entities that had put in initial expression of interest (EoI) in December 2020 for buying the Maharaja.

With previous attempts since 2017 failing to get any significant interest and after receiving feedback from potential investors, the government had in October last year sweetened the EoI clause relating to transfer of Air India's debt to the new investor, giving bidders flexibility to decide on the quantum of humongous debt they want to absorb.

As per the Air India EoI floated by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) in January 2020, of the airline's total debt of Rs 60,074 crore as of March 31, 2019, the buyer would be required to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore. The rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle.

Air India has been in losses ever since its merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007.

The airline, which was formed by the Tatas as a mail carrier in 1932, will give the successful bidder control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, as well as 900 slots at airports overseas.

Besides, the bidder would get 100 per cent of the low-cost arm Air India Express and 50 per cent of AISATS, which provides cargo and ground handling services at major Indian airports.



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Mumbai, Sep 20: Every rupee in his foundation is awaiting its turn to be used to reach the needy and save precious lives, actor Sonu Sood said in a statement on Monday, days after the CBDT alleged that he and his associates evaded tax of Rs 20 crore.

Speaking out for the first time since multiples searches at his premises and those related to his associates last week, the 48-year-old actor said he had been busy "attending to a few guests" and that is why he was unable to be at the service of the people for the last four days.

"Here I am back again in all humility. At your humble service, for life. My journey continues. Jai Hind," he wrote in a statement on Instagram.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes CBDT claimed that after the Income Tax Department raided him and a Lucknow-based infrastructure group, it was found that Sood routed his "unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans from many bogus entities".

It also accused the "Dabangg" actor of violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) while raising donations from abroad.

Sood said in his statement that he had pledged himself to the service of the people of India with all his "strength and heart".

"You don't always have to tell your side of the story. Time will. Every rupee in my foundation is awaiting its turn to save a precious life and reach the needy. In addition, on many occasions, I have encouraged brands to donate my endorsement fees for humanitarian causes too, which keeps us going," he said.

Sood has been active on social media platforms and hit the headlines with his philanthropic work during the pandemic.

 
 
 
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