New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) Brining an end to months of anticipation over the government lowering its stake in major public sector undertakings (PSU), the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved strategic disinvestment in five PSUs.
Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Centre would strategically disinvest Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), THDC India Ltd and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO).
The government will also give up the management control in these companies, Sitharaman said.
The strategic sale of BPCL, however, would exclude the oil refiner’s 61 per cent stake in Numaligarh Refinery Ltd in Assam, Sitharaman told reports.
“Numaligarh will be carved out from BPCL before its disinvestment and would retain its PSU character. The company can be taken over by other CPSE in the oil and gas sector under consolidation,” she said.
At current share price, government’s 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL is worth around Rs 60,000 crore. This is likely to help the government meet its higher disinvestment target of Rs 1,05,000 crore for the financial year 2019-2020.
Two of the PSUs under the strategic disinvestment plan, THDC and NEEPCO, will be taken over by another state-run power major, NTPC.
In another decision, the Finance Minister said the government would lower its stake below 51 per cent in select PSUs while retaining their management control. The decision to bring down Centre’s stake will be taken on a case-to-case basis, she said.