Millennium Post

Govt plans ESOPs for Air India staff

New Delhi: The government plans to provide stock options to Air India staff after sale of its 76 per cent stake in the debt-laden airline, a senior official said.
On Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry came out with the preliminary information memorandum for seeking Expression of Interest (EoI) for the strategic disinvestment of Air India.
The government has proposed selling 76 per cent stake in the airline as well as transfer management control to private players. Besides, Air India would divest 100 per cent stake in Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in AISATS, an equal joint venture with Singapore-based SATS.
The senior official said Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) would be extended to the airline staff once the divestment process is complete.
Stock options would be provided from the government's remaining 24 per cent stake after divestment.
As per the memorandum, the selected bidder should abide by conditions set out in the Request for Proposal (RFP) or the definitive documents to safeguard employees' interests.
The government has plans to divest its residual 24 per cent stake through the process of "dispersed disinvestment" on such terms that may be prescribed in the Request for Proposal (RFP).
Air India had 11,214 permanent employees as on December 1, 2017. These include 2,056 people on deputation to other companies and agencies. The airline also had 2,913 employees on contract and 2,661 people on deputation from other companies, among others, as per the memorandum.
Among the permanent staff, as many as 4,217 are set to retire in the next five years, it added.
According to the memorandum, the employees' dues to the tune of Rs 1,298.2 crore on account of Justice Dharamadhikari Commission Report is in the nature of past arrears.
"Air India/ Air India Asset Holding Ltd will commit to pay the same at the appropriate stage before consummation of the proposed transaction," it noted.
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