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Oil firms to pay Centre Rs 2800cr dividend

New Delhi, Nov. 30 (PTI): Public sector oil companies will pay the government an interim dividend of about Rs 2,800 crore this fiscal for bridging fiscal deficit.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Gail (India) Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) will pay an interim dividend in December.

“The oil ministry has almost finalised the individual payouts and the companies would be declaring interim dividend at the board meetings lined up in December,” official sources said.

The state-run oil firms had paid Rs 2,687 crore interim dividend last year to bail out government finances and this year they will pay a little less than Rs 2,800 crore as interim dividend.

ONGC, which had paid Rs 2,038.87 crore interim dividend last year at Rs 17 a share, is likely to pay up to a rupee per share less this fiscal, while IOC's payout this fiscal will increase to Rs 479 crore from Rs 319 crore last year.

However, Indian Oil’s dividend would remain at Rs 5 a share, the increased payout to government being on account of the enlarged capital base of the company.

Gail's interim dividend is likely to be at almost the same level as last year — Rs 170.83 crore at Rs 3 per share. HPCL and BPCL may also pay dividend at the same levels as last year. In 2002-03, HPCL and BPCL paid interim dividends of Rs 34.61 crore and Rs 39.72 crore, respectively, at Rs 2 per share.

Sources said while Oil India Ltd (OIL) may be spared from the payouts, EIL would announce an interim dividend.

The government is tapping public sector units of the oil, power and banking sectors to shore up its finances this financial year as its revenue generation is likely to fall way short of expenditure.

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