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Divestment: Govt expects Rs 21k cr from Coal India

New Delhi, March 17, 2013, DHNS: 22:55 IST

Sale to commence early next fiscal

A labourer loads coal onto a truck in a coal yard. REUTERS
Riding on the crest of its successful PSU disinvestment this year, the government is planning to begin the divestment process early for the next fiscal and may hit the market with the big ticket divestment of Coal India through which it is expected to garner over Rs 21,000 crore.

The finance ministry has moved a cabinet proposal to this effect. A 10 per cent sale in Coal India, which is valued at Rs 2,14,219 crore, is likely to fetch about Rs 21,421 crore to the exchequer.

According to a finance ministry official, a clear picture on the share sale will emerge early next month. The government is proposing to sell its stake through offer for sale route.

The government currently holds 90 per cent stake in Coal India, country’s largest coal miner.

The stake sale may be done in tranches. The Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram will decide on whether the divestment will take place in tranches.

Next year’s divestment target has been fixed at Rs 40,000 crore or Rs 16,000 crore more than the current year’s revised target.

This year too, the government has garnered close to Rs 22,000 crore through divestment of its shares in PSUs, although the divestment process began as late as in the second half of the current fiscal year, when Chidambaram took over the finance ministry.

Apart from Coal India, two big ticket companies, India Oil Corp and NHPC, are also expected to go under the hammer. But, Coal India is eagerly awaited as this alone is expected to take the government half way through the divestment target set for next year. , the official said.

IOC, India’s largest fuel retailer is expected to fetch the government above Rs 7,000 crore, if the government plans to divest 10 per cent.

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