The government should not be running airports and airlines Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Sunday adding that he is hopeful of completing Air India's privatization process within 2020.
"Air India has been an asset and has a very good record, very trained professional people. But, the government should not be running airports and airlines, our government rules should be applied to commercial entities," Puri said at a meeting held via video conferencing on Sunday.
"It is important that as a growing concern, one that is attractive to potential bidders we should privatize it. I am hopeful that we will complete its privatization process this year," he added.
Earlier this month, the central government had extended the deadline for expression of interest for proposed strategic disinvestment of Air India for two months till October 30, in view of the prevailing situation due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The earlier last date for expression of interest, as per the seventh corrigendum issued on June 25, 2020, was till 5 pm on August 31. The government has initiated the process of divesting its share from Air India and is looking for suitable bidders.
The Civil Aviation Minister further defended the move for the privatization of airports by the Centre by stating that during the erstwhile Congress rule they had "privatised the Delhi, Mumbai airports."