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Maharashtra govt offers Rs 1,400 cr for Air India building in Mumbai

Tuesday, 07 May 2019
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The government of Maharashtra has offered Rs 1,400 crore to take over the Air India building in Mumbai. The state government’s offer is Rs 200 crore less than the reserve price Air India had set. The Air India has decided to go ahead with it as part of its plan to monetise its real estate assets.

The Centre-run Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) had quoted Rs 1,375 crore and Rs 1,200 crore, respectively, for the property. Air India had first put up the sale of leasehold rights of the land and the building in December 2018.

The government of Maharashtra had leased the sea-facing property to the Air India in 1970 for a 99 year tenure. During the first round of bidding, only the LIC submitted a quote, prompting a second round.

The state government used its status as the land’s owner to invoke the “first right to refusal”. Only government entities were permitted to participate in both rounds. However, it may well be over two years before the government can use of most of the floors.

After the airline’s headquarters were shifted to Delhi in 2013, nearly five lakh sq ft of office space on 17 of the 23 floors in the Mumbai building was rented out. Due to a paucity of space in Mantralaya, offices of the state secretariat operate from various locations currently.

All these offices can be accommodated in the Air India building. With Air India keen to retain its 5,000 sq ft booking office on the ground floor, the government has said it can exist on a rental basis. Air India will be allowed to display its logo on the top of the building even after the acquisition.

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