Govt may sell its entire stake in BPCL, CONCOR, SCI

New Delhi: In line with its disinvestment target, the government may soon move a cabinet note for strategic sale of its stake in major public sector enterprises, including the Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, the Container Corp of India and the Shipping Corp of India, in a phased manner.

According to sources, apart from these entities, the government may also seek cabinet approval for acquisition of the THDC by NTPC and the NEEPCO by NHPC.

The plan for these three companies is to bring down government equity to zero in phases that will also involve participation from a strategic partner.

This is the first time when the government will consider complete exit from profit-making PSUs. In the budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had indicated government's plan to bring down equity in PSUs to below 51 per cent on a case-to-case basis.

The government currently holds 63.75 per cent equity in SCI, 54.8 per cent in CONCOR and 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL. These companies are fit cases for bringing down stake to below 51 per cent level as these already have high level of public shareholding.

The government increased disinvestment target to over Rs 1 lakh crore for the current financial year in the last budget. In the interim budget 2019-20 presented in February this year, it had pegged the disinvestment target of Rs 90,000 crore. However, the government's asset monetisation plans have hit severe hurdles and disinvestment process of Air India, units of SAIL, Scooters India and Pawan Hans have all received lukewarm response.

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