Founder Chairman of Bharti Entreprises Sunil Mittal on Thursday said the Tata Group will be a better choice to take over the debt - ridden national passenger carrier Air India if the airline is privatised.
"Tatas, if it has to be privatised, should be one of the better candidates, " Sunil Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Entreprises, told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in the Department of Telecommunications.
Mittal's comments come after news reports indicated that industrial conglomerate Tata Group might be interested in taking over the airline only if the government restructures a substantial portion of its debt.
On Tuesday, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the NITI Aayog's recommendation on the future of national passenger carrier Air India has been presented to the Union cabinet which will take a call on it.
In a recent report to the Civil Aviation Ministry, the NITI Aayog recommended strategic disinvestment in the loss - making Air India, by which government control would be transferred to a private owner.
According to Sinha, inter - ministerial consultations on the future of the airline have been completed and "are being summarised and presented" to the Union cabinet.
On June 5, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government should have exited the airline more than a decade ago.
The Minister, in an interview to CNBC TV18, asked why should the tax - payer's money worth Rs 55, 000 - 60, 000 crore be invested to save the debt - ridden airline.
"Civil aviation is turning into a good success story in India. . .
we have a lot of private sector players running very efficient airlines in India, " Jaitley told CNBC TV18 in the interview.
"Therefore, how fair is it for the government to occupy 14 per cent of the market share and then say some Rs 55, 000 - 60, 000 crore of tax - payer's money must get into this whole process?"
On May 30, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said several options and alternatives are available for restoring the financial health of the national passenger carrier.