Recently, when finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the sale of national carrier Air India by the end of March next year, it rang a familiar bell. This would be the third attempt by the government to sell its stake in the national carrier after it failed to do so twice, in 2001 and 2018. While the EoI (expression of interest) for the stake sale is still months away - given that it has to be approved by the GoM (group of ministers) who are said to be busy with the winter session of the Parliament - the government has planned five road shows to present the proposal to potential investors.
By the fourth week of November, three had already been conducted in Mumbai, London and Singapore. Before the EoI is drafted, the GoM and the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), the nodal agency advising the central government on matters pertaining to public sector units, have to fill some gaps, including the lock-in period for the existing employees after the sell-off.