NEW DELHI : The empowered group of ministers deferred its decision on the proposed divestment in state-owned Indian Oil Corp after the panel failed to reach a consensus over the timing and price for the issue.

The ministers’ panel is likely to meet again next week to decide on the contentious share sale that has drawn strong opposition from the petroleum ministry that feels that the share price is undervalued at current rates. “Today this decision is deferred,” Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily said after the meeting that lasted 45 minutes. The minister expressed dissent for the divestment at the meeting, a finance ministry official said.
The government is planning to raise around 45-50 bln rupees by divesting 10% stake in the largest oil marketing company in the country. It currently holds 78.92% stake in Indian Oil.
Moily had on Monday said, “I am against giving it away at throwaway price. It should be at a better price. EGoM would decide whether to go for divestment or not.” While the petroleum ministry is against the divestment at current rates, the finance ministry is keen on going ahead with Indian Oil’s offer for sale as it is way short of meeting its 400-bln-rupee divestment target for 2013-14. -Cogencis

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