The Indian Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and the Civil Aviation Ministry are exploring options to ease FDI norms to attract bidders for debt-ridden Air India.
“There is an issue of substantial ownership and effective control. So there, we are talking to the civil aviation ministry to see whether they are interested in liberalising it,” An official said.
“It is felt that if you allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI), probably it will have a better effect on the Air India bidding prospects. The civil aviation ministry is also aware of that. We are taking it up with them also,” the official added.
The airline has accumulated a debt pile of around Rs 58,000 crore (around 6 billion Pound sterling), besides huge accumulated losses running into thousands of crores.
The group would discuss the possibility of further simplifying and easing FDI policy to attract overseas investors.
According to a spokesperson, the department is looking at relaxing norms in those sectors where currently 100 per cent FDI is not permitted through automatic route.
“We are looking at sectors where 100 per cent automatic is not there. We are looking at all those sectors and are talking to all those departments, whether they want further liberalisation in that,” the official added.
“Basic target is those sectors, where there is a government approval route and 100 per cent FDI is not there,” the official stated.