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FinMin to seek list of companies fit for divestment next fiscal

Having set an ambitious target of Rs 40,000 crore through the sale of government stakes in public sector undertakings in 2010-11,the finance ministry...

Written by Gunjan Pradhan Sinha | New Delhi |
March 11, 2010 12:03:09 am

Having set an ambitious target of Rs 40,000 crore through the sale of government stakes in public sector undertakings in 2010-11,the finance ministry is set to crack the whip by asking about 30 Central departments to send in their list of companies that may be part of the stake sale roster for the next fiscal. So far,the disinvestment department in the finance ministry has hardly received any responses on their road map for the coming year.

The UPA government plans to achieve at least 10 per cent market float for all profit making public sector undertakings (PSUs) to bring more transparency and instill higher corporate governance in state owned enterprises as a part of its stated disinvestment policy. According to government officials,so far departments have not reverted to the department of disinvestment with the list of PSUs under them which need to hit the market in line with this policy.

“A ministry’s annual performance,which is monitored by the Cabinet Secretariat,will be affected if they do not abide by this larger policy decision of the government and send a road map to the finance ministry,” a government official told The Indian Express. The department of disinvestment may soon send a terse reminder to about 32 departments to fall in line with the same. Departments had been asked to send in names weeks ago of companies that have been making profits consistently for the past three years and have a positive net worth.

In the Union Budget 2010-2011,the finance minister has set a target of raising Rs 40,000 crore from disinvestment by taking as many as 15 PSUs to the bourses. The department of disinvestment,which was so far busy with the follow on public offer (FPO) of National Mineral Development Council (NMDC),is now on course to draw a road map for the coming fiscal. “The road map for next year should be finalized in a month or so provided line ministries and departments revert back in time,” the official added.

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The urgency to act towards this end is clear with the finance minister having projected a significant cut in the fiscal deficit target by 1.2 per cent for 2010-2011 to 5.5 per cent. The government plans to rake in over Rs 70,000 crore in the fiscal from disinvestment and telecom 3G auctions. In fiscal 2009-2010,the government managed to proceed with the divestment of four companies including NTPC,REC,OIL and NMDC. This is expected to rake in close to Rs 25,000 crore for the government.

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First published on: 11-03-2010 at 12:03:09 am

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