Govt to focus on strategic stake sales to meet disinvestment target: DIPAM Secretary


The government will focus on strategic stake sales to meet the Rs 1.20 lakh crore CPSE disinvestment target in the current fiscal, DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said on Friday. The government has already invited bids for strategic sale of national carrier Air India and oil major BPCL. However, their bid deadlines have been extended amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For BPCL, in which the government is selling 52.98 per cent stake, the deadline has been extended till July 31. For 100 per cent stake sale in Air India, the deadline for bid submission is now August 31.

Speaking at a webinar on Bharat Bond ETF, Pandey said the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has minority stake sales of CPSEs on its table but the emphasis is on strategic disinvestment.


“Many of our strategic transactions are going on and moving forward. There was little bit of disruption due to COVID and extensions given in terms of EoI (Expression of Interest) but the government has clarified that we are very much on the same track of aggressively pursuing strategic disinvestment. More focus on that.

“Of course, there will be OFS (offer for sale), buybacks…(but) it will be more focused on strategic disinvestment,” he said.

For the 2020-21 fiscal, the government has set a disinvestment target of Rs 2.10 lakh crore. Of this, Rs 1.20 lakh crore will come from disinvestment of public sector undertakings and another Rs 90,000 crore from stake sales in financial institutions, including life insurance behemoth LIC.

The strategic sales being pursued right now include Air India, BEML, Scooters India, Bharat Pumps Compressors, and some units of steel major SAIL, among others.

The government had in May announced that a maximum of four public sector companies will be present in strategic sectors, while state-owned firms in other segments will be privatised.

This is part of a new coherent Public Sector Enterprises Policy to be formulated to push reforms in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

Under the policy, a list of strategic sectors will be notified where there will be at least one, and a maximum of four, public sector enterprises, apart from private sector companies. In other sectors, CPSEs will be privatised depending upon the feasibility.

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