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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Govt plugs into NTPC offer

New Delhi, Feb. 5: The government hopes to earn around Rs 12,000 crore from the sale of a 9.5 per cent stake in energy major NTPC Ltd on Thursday through an auction.

The floor price for the sale will be announced after market hours on Wednesday, said disinvestment secretary Ravi Mathur.

NTPC’s shares on the BSE closed 0.16 per cent higher at Rs 155.60 on Tuesday. Indications are that the government may offer the shares at a discount to attract investors and meet the Rs 30,000-crore divestment target this fiscal.

The government has an 84.5 per cent stake in NTPC, the country’s largest power producer by capacity.

Last week, the government successfully completed the sale of a 10 per cent stake in Oil India, raising Rs 3,141.39 crore.

The government, so far, has raised over Rs 10,000 crore this fiscal by selling stakes in public sector units — Rs 6,000 crore from NMDC, Rs 808 crore from HCL and Rs 154 crore from National Buildings Construction Corporation.

Power meet

Power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia held a day-long meeting with the energy ministers and senior officials of states to discuss ways to improve generation by removing bottlenecks and improving the financial status of distribution firms.

“Restoring the financial health of the state-owned distribution utilities should be the topmost priority of state governments. The benefit of the huge generation capacity commissioned and under construction cannot reach the consumers if the discoms are unable to purchase electricity due to their financial condition,” he said.

 
 
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