MoD okays 10 pc divesting in HAL

MoD okays 10 pc divesting in HAL

The earnings from the disinvestment will be utilised to modernise the HAL to take up future challenges like production of European-origin medium multi-range combat aircraft, the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft and the Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter planes.

“The defence ministry has agreed in principle to 10 per cent disinvestment of HAL in the next five years. The final approval, however, will have to come from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by the prime minister,” said a defence ministry spokesperson.

HAL is the third of the nine Defence Public Sector Undertakings where disinvestment has been allowed by the Central government. The Centre had earlier offloaded its stakes in two other Bangalore-based defence PSUs—Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL). Currently, the government holds 66 per cent stakes in BEML and 75 per cent in BEL.

The nitty-gritty of the offloading would be finalised by the Union finance ministry after assessing the books of HAL and calculating its net worth. The defence ministry will put up the final proposal to the CCEA only after the finance ministry gives its green signal.

In 2010-11, the Navratna company recorded sales of Rs 13,061 crore, registering a growth of 14 per cent over the previous year. Profit before tax for the last fiscal stood at Rs 2,718 crore whereas, the order book during the financial year increased by Rs 8,524 crore.

The aviation major, which is currently producing Su-30 MKI fighters and advanced jet trainer for the Indian Air Force, is looking at the export market with one of its flagship product, advanced light-weight helicopters Dhruv. An armed version of the ALH for the IAF is all set to undergo trials.

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