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Five-year divestment strategy on agenda

Bose: Long-term goals

Calcutta, Dec. 9: The Centre will take a long-term view on the divestment of public sector undertakings even as it remains far off from meeting its selloff target this fiscal, revenue secretary Sumit Bose said.

He said the Centre was trying to develop a five-year perspective for the divestment process.

In 2011-12, the Centre had set a divestment target of Rs 40,000 crore but could only achieve about Rs 14,000 crore because of a volatile market. This year (2012-13) it set a target of Rs 30,000 crore and has achieved about Rs 900 crore till now.

“It is true that we have only been able to achieve about Rs 900 crore as proceeds from divestment so far this year against a target of Rs 30,000 crore. But the Finance Commission has calculated that an amount equivalent to Rs 3,41,000 crore could be made available if unlisted PSEs are listed and government holdings were brought down to 51 per cent over a five-year period from 2010 to 2015,” Bose said. He added the Centre was putting more focus to unlock the entire value over this time.

“We have already identified 10 companies where we plan to offload our stake,” Bose said at a lecture series organised by the International Management Institute — Calcutta — on Saturday.

“Apart from the fact that it gives non-debt capital receipts to the government, it also improves corporate governance of PSEs,” he said.

The Centre is looking to sell stakes in companies such as Oil India, SAIL, Hindustan Aeronautics, Nalco, RINL, Bhel, MMTC and NMDC. The Centre has recently offloaded about 5.58 per cent stake in Hindustan Copper Ltd.

NTPC offer

The department of disinvestment will make a presentation to the government on December 15 for the proposed follow-on-offer of NTPC Ltd that aims to raise around Rs 13,000 crore, according to PTI.

Announcing this at the sidelines of Pan-IIT Global conference here today, NTPC chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury said the follow-on public offer would be completed by March.

 
 
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