India has amended its foreign direct investment (FDI) rule related to civil aviation sector to allow non-resident Indians (NRIs) to own 100% of Air India, Arabian Business reported.
FDI in Air India is currently capped at 49%. 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 17 March.
The government intends to sell its 100% stake in Air India this time around, as its earlier attempt to sell 74% stake had failed.
Along with Air India, a 100% stake in its low-cost arm Air India Express and 50% 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.
In January, it was reported that IndiGo and Etihad were considering bids for a stake in Air India.