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Equity infusion into Air India to be discussed soon

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 (14:40:52) Tags: Business, Aviation, Equity New Delhi: Stating that the revival plan for cash-strapped national carrier Air India was well on track, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today said that his ministry will shortly seek cabinet approval for equity infusion into the airline. "There are two issues concerning Air India. One is concerning equity infusion. I hope the matter would be cleared when the cabinet meets shortly," Patel told reporters here on the sidelines of a conference organized by the Foundation For Aviation and Sustainable Tourism, an aviation consultancy. "We are also looking at bringing down costs. We are in talks with various banks, which would help us bring down the airline's debts," he said. Patel had presented to the cabinet on Aug 13 a proposal for equity infusion into Air India and lowering its high interest debt. The airline's current debt is about Rs.16,500 crore with losses standing at Rs.7,200 crore in 2008-09. Air India, which has ordered 111 planes worth over Rs.50,000 crore, has an equity base of Rs.145 crore and is waiting for a Rs.5,000-crore equity infusion by the government. (IANS)