New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The government is eyeing to wrap up the sale of oil refinery Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and state-run carrier Air India by March next year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday. While referring to the sale of the above state-run companies as a part of the government's plan to raise over Rs 1 lakh crore in the ongoing financial year, Sitharaman said "We are moving on both with the expectation that we can complete them this year. The ground realities will play out," as quoted as saying by the Times of India, 
 
The minister said that there is interest among investors, which is evident from roadshows in Singapore and London ahead to the sale of Air India. A year ago, the carrier had to be shut owing to huge losses and little response from the investors. The government is banking on the above companies to raise revenue in a year when tax collections are under pressure.
 
Sitharaman added that the government has taken measures to reverse the economic slowdown at the right time and several sectors are coming out of distress. However, she said that she expects to revive GST collections on the back of improvement in sales. The FM also welcomed the Supreme Court's judgment on Essar Steel.
 
 
She also stressed that there were signs of revival in consumer sentiment in an outreach program during the festive season, demand of nearly Rs 1.8 crore loans from the bank was met.  "If consumer confidence is not on way  to being restored, why would you think that such an amount would have gone out as loans during the two outreach programs  started by banks? And, it is all over the country," she told the news daily.
 
Companies such as Saudi Aramco, Rosneft, Kuwait Petroleum, Total and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. are eyeing to own BPCL while Tata and Indigo, among others are likely to bid for state-run airline Air India in the coming months. 

Posted By: James Kuanal