The government has not received any bids for the stake in airline carrier Air India, the civil aviation secretary told the press on Wednesday, a day before the formal bidding procedure ends.
The government will not extend the deadline for submissions of interest in Air India, RN Choubey said on Wednesday. The deadline for bidding proccess has already been extended from May 14 to May 31 once.
The Narendra Modi government, which is keen to sell the debt-ridden airline had finalised plans in late March to strip off a 76 per cent stake and get over about USD 5 billions of its debt.
Since then, no company has come forward to show its interest, while Jet Airways and rivals IndiGo have already opted out of the bidding war publicly.
In its initial statements, the government had said that the winning bidder cannot join the airline with existing businesses as long as te government holds a stake. The winner of the bidding war may also be required to abide by the rules set to safeguard employee interests, hence restricting the power to cut staff.
The civil aviation ministry had earlier informed the public about the 160 queries it had received from interested bidders. The queries were mainly about the impact of the government's decision to hold a 24 per cent stake, airline's debt and liabilities and about the workforce and financial performances.