New Delhi: Government departments and autonomous bodies have dues of more than Rs 244 crore to Air India, of which a little over Rs 30 crore has been recovered, the government said in Parliament on Monday.

“Government departments/autonomous bodies owe Air India Rs 244.78 crore as on September 30, 2021. Out of this, Rs 30.38 crore has been recovered as on November 30, 2021,” Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

He was responding to a set of questions raised by several MPs regarding sale of Air India to Tata group.

Karad said there was a huge accumulated debt on Air India, following which the government took an enterprise value (EV) bidding approach for strategic divestment of Air India and its identified subsidiaries and joint ventures.

“The strategic disinvestment transaction has been carried out for the entire company as a going concern. Assets other than non-core assets and liabilities other than those excluded from the transaction will remain with the acquirer.

“Non-core assets of Air India and its subsidiaries (book value of Rs 14,718 crore as on August 31, 2021) are not a part of the disinvestment transaction and will not be taken over by the successful bidder but transferred to Air India Asset Holding Company (AIAHL), 100 per cent owned by GoI,” he said.

A share purchase agreement (SPA) was signed on October 25, 2021, setting up precedent conditions to be fulfilled by the bidder (Tata group), Air India and the government before closing the transaction.

Among others, Karad said the employees of Air India cannot be retrenched for a period of one year from the closing date.

They will be eligible for a voluntary retirement scheme with maximum benefits in case of retrenchment in the second year from closing, he added.

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