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Updated: January 29, 2010 23:07 IST

More equity infusion for Air India soon

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A file picture of Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.
A file picture of Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.

After the initial Rs 800-crore bailout for Air India, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Friday said the government would infuse “more” equity in the national carrier in the near future.

“Government is committed to equity infusion in Air India. Rs. 800 crore has already been infused. More money will be coming in the near future,” Mr. Patel told reporters on the sidelines of a tourism and travel mart here.

He said a Group of Ministers, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, would meet on February 3 to decide on further equity.

“I can’t give any commitment until we have a decision of the GoM,” Mr. Patel, who is also a member of the Group, said when asked how much more equity would be infused in the ailing national carrier.

He dismissed as “completely baseless” the reports that the government was considering undoing the merger of Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines.

Mr. Patel said his ministry would soon unveil a new airport policy, which would allow construction of greenfield airports at smaller destinations.

He said “single window clearance” would be given to such projects by the government.

Last year, the government had set up the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority to settle disputes between the airport operators and users like airlines and passengers.

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