Pawan Hans divestment plan to be finalised in a week: aviation ministry

In October last year, the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) had given its in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of profit-making Pawan Hans. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: The ministry of civil aviation is in the last stages of preparing the modalities of disinvestment of state-run helicopter operator Pawan Hans and will send its proposal for evaluation “within a week”, a senior official said on Wednesday.

In October last year, the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) had given its in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of profit-making Pawan Hans.

The Centre holds 51% stake in the chopper firm while another state-owned giant Oil and Natural Gas Corporation owns the remaining 49%. “We will be sending our proposal to an evaluation committee, which will then forward it to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). “The core group of secretaries on disinvestment (CGD) at DIPAM will then look into our suggestions,” a senior ministry official told reporters.

The official added that the proposal from the ministry would be sent “within a week”. A meeting was also held on Wednesday at the ministry on this issue where both minister of civil aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju and minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha were present. The set of recommendations from the ministry will also deal with issues of landed property and assets of Pawan Hans, the official said.

A section of employees of Pawan Hans recently wrote to the prime minister’s office and suggested that the firm be merged with ONGC or made a subsidiary company by way of increasing ONGC’s stake to 51%.

Set up in 1985, Pawan Hans has a fleet of over 40 helicopters and nearly 900 employees, 450 of whom are on permanent rolls.

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