Maharashtra government set to buy Air India’s building for Rs 1,600 crore
MUMBAI: Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had met Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia last year and urged him to give preference to the Maharashtra government in its attempt to sell the iconic Air India building at Nariman Point. Besides the state, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was said to be in the fray for the building.
The senior minister confirming a likely deal said: “We have been told that the AI Assets Holding Ltd, which owns the building, has in-principle agreed to give it to us. Finer details will be worked out but our offer is conditional. We were told offices of GST and the incometax department run out of there. Some floors are with the state-owned company and one of the floors houses art collections and other items. We will only go ahead with the deal if we get vacant possession, we don’t want to appoint a new agency to get the premises vacated, it will be very tedious. ”
Justifying the government’s push to acquire the property, the minister said: “If we get the building, we can save the rent the state government is paying right now. Several state offices are housed in private spaces across south Mumbai and is costing a huge sum every month. ”
On Tuesday, Fadnavis also said the state government would take the building onlyif it was handed over vacant. The first offer to buy the building was made under Fadnavis’s chief ministership.
Ministerial offices can be shifted to the Air India building and all offices currently in private buildings can be accommodated in Mantralaya, said a senior official. “There are some plans to connect Mantralaya and the Air India building, but it is still at a discussion stage. ”AI officials had told thestate government that according to them, the valuation of the building was more than Rs 2,000 crore. “The government needs to recover dues from Air India to the tune of around Rs 300 crore,” pointed out the state official.
After Fadnavis started talks for the building during his chief ministership, talks had resumed in 2021 under the MVA government, but no deal was finalised, added the official.