Centre to ready PSU scroll for stake sale

As part of ongoing exercise to expedite the process of PSU disinvestment, the finance ministry is holding talks with several administrative ministries to identify list of state-owned enterprises, whose stock could be divested, to raise funds to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore in the current fiscal.

“We are holding talks with several ministries. We will soon finalise the roadmap for PSU disinvestment for the current fiscal 2011-12,” Additional Secretary, Department of Disinvestment, Siddharth Pradhan said here. “The disinvestment department has been holding talks with various ministries for identifying the PSUs, whose stock could be divested. The process of consultation is expected to be completed by June end,” he said.

Without revealing the list, which could be divested, Pradhan only indicated that the Department of Disinvestment was in touch with ministries like steel, mines, heavy industries and petroleum and natural gas.

However, the current fiscal would witness sale of equity in blue chip companies like Sail and ONGC. The cabinet has already approved disinvestment of equities in four PSUs— ONGC, Sail, Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL).

Expressing robust optimism over the budgetary target of raising Rs 40,000 in the current fiscal through PSU disinvestment, Pradhan said “we are quite optimistic of achieving the target.” The government has already raised Rs 1,162 crore by divesting five per cent stake in PFC in May.

The follow-on public offer of Sail is likely to hit the market next month and ONGC in July. The disinvestment programme for HCL is yet to take a “concrete shape”, sources said. In the last fiscal 2010-11 against the target of Rs 40,000 crore the government could raise only Rs 22,400 crore through PSU disinvestment.

Currently, total receipts stands at Rs 99,738.92 crore from government’s various disinvestment programmes, ever since they began in the financial year 1991-92.

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