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New Delhi pumped around Rs40bn into Air India

New Delhi has budgeted only a token amount to support Air India's continuing turnaround for the year to April 2020, after documents revealed that it has received Rs39.8 billion ($596 million) this financial year.

The final amount is up sharply from the previously allocated budget of Rs6.5 billion for the struggling carrier for the year to 31 March 2019, and well over double the Rs18 billion provided by New Delhi to the carrier in the 2017/18 fiscal year.

By comparison, only Rs100,000 has been allocated to the turnaround plan for fiscal 2019/20.

In 2018 New Delhi attempted to sell a 76% stake in the financially-hamstrung carrier, but the privatisation failed to attract a single bid.

In the aftermath of that failed attempt, the airline issued tenders seeking a total of Rs15 billion in urgent working capital loans, and sought additional capital infusions from the government.

While the carrier has only been allocated a small amount, budget documents show that Rs26 billion has been allocated to Air India Asset Holding in 2019/20, which will take over some of the carrier's debt. The figure is double the amount received this year.

Air India has over Rs500 billion in debt, and the airline has started a process of selling a number of properties and land holdings across India in an attempt to reduce its liabilities.

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