By James Mathew
Decision comes as India has called for initial bids for privatising its national carrier
India has amended its foreign direct investment (FDI) rule related to civil aviation sector allow non-resident Indians (NRIs) to own 100 percent of Air India.
FDI in Air India is currently capped at 49 percent. The amended FDI rule was approved by the Indian cabinet on Wednesday.
The FDI rule tweak is done at a time when India has invited global bids to privatise the debt-ridden Air India.
The last date for submission of Expression of Interest (EoI) for the carrier is March 17.
The government intends to sell its 100 percent stake in Air India this time around, as its earlier attempt to sell 74 percent stake had failed.
Along with Air India, a 100 percent stake in its low-cost arm Air India Express and 50 percent in ground handling joint venture AI-SATS would also be offered to the potential bidder.
Under the latest disinvestment plan, the successful bidder would have to take over only debt worth about $3.2 billion out of about $8 billion total liabilities of Air India.