Bharat Petroleum stake sale under inter-ministerial consideration

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The government is planning to sell part of its stake in the Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and the issue is at the inter-ministerial consultation stage, parliament was told on Friday.

“The issue regarding disinvestment of BPCL is presently at the inter-ministerial consultation stage. Decision can be taken only after the consultation process is over,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told the Lok Sabha in a written reply to a query on whether the government proposes to sell 3 percent stake in the oil marketer.

The government holds 54.93 percent stake in country’s second largest state oil company after Indian Oil.

The government proposes to raise Rs.69,500 crore through disinvestment in the current fiscal, and Sinha said it has identified undertakings for disinvestment in sectors that include defence, fertiliser, heavy engineering, mineral and metals, oil, power, steel, technical consultancy, tourism, transport services, trading and marketing.

Friday was also the deadline for submission of bids to the department of disinvestment (DoD) by both merchant bankers and legal advisors for being appointed for the stake sale in 10 public sector undertakings (PSUs).

A finance ministry source here told IANS that the DoD had earlier this month invited proposals for appointing merchant bankers for up to three years for the proposed stake sales in Oil India, Container Corp, NMDC, MMTC, ITDC, NTPC, Engineers India, BEL, Nalco and Hindustan Copper.

The government has informed the interested bankers that the time taken for actual completion of transaction will depend on the market and other related conditions, the source said.

While the 10 companies have been divided into two baskets, the DoD would appoint four merchant bankers for each basket, he added.

Moreover, to prevent any conflict of interest, the merchant bankers have to certify that they are not advising or acting on behalf of any other person or entity which is engaged in the same line of business as that of each of the company constituting the basket being disinvested.

The government has an ambitious fiscal disinvestment target of Rs.41,000 crore through stake sale in public sector units, and another Rs.28,500 crore through strategic stake sale by transfer of management control.

It has recently approved the sale of a 10 percent stake in the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and five percent stake in the NTPC.


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