The Telegraph
Sunday , January 12 , 2014
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IOC share sale

New Delhi, Jan. 11 (PTI): A ministerial panel is likely to meet next week to look at alternatives such as selling the government’s shares in IOC to other oil PSUs after its divestment plan met with opposition from the petroleum ministry.

Oil minister M. Veerappa Moily said his ministry had “concerns” about Indian Oil Corp shares being sold at current market price and an empowered group of ministers (EGoM), headed by finance minister P. Chidambaram, will look at alternatives to meet the divestment target. “We have an EGoM meeting next week to find a solution,” Moily said.

Refusing to discuss alternatives, the minister said he shared the finance minister’s concerns about meeting the divestment target for the fiscal and alternatives should be looked at.

Officials said the government was toying with the idea of offering government shares in IOC to other PSUs such as gas utility GAIL India Ltd.

The ministry, they said, is open to discussing such alternatives which will help meet the Rs 4,000 crore target the finance ministry is looking at from sale of IOC shares.

The government had in the past resorted to the so-called cross-holding route to shore up its revenues.

In the late 1990s, the government sold its shares in ONGC, GAIL and Indian Oil Corp to raise Rs 4,643 crore.