New Delhi: The Shipping Ministry Thursday said it has put on hold plans for stake sale in Cochin Shipyard, Ennore Port and Dredging Corporation of India (DCI), finding the proposals not viable this fiscal.
"As far as disinvestment in Cochin Shipyard, Dredging Corporation and Ennore Port is concerned, this year it is not the right time for at least these three companies. We will decide later," Shipping Secretary K Mohandas told reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI Infrastructure summit here.
The government was mulling disinvestment in Cochin Shipyard through an initial public offering (IPO) while for Vizag-based mini ratna company DCI, it had plans to go for further stake sale as it has already divested 22.5 percent stake in it.
Divestment plans of Ennore Port, which is one of the 12 major ports in the country have also been put on the backburner.
About the fresh deadline for disinvetment in these three companies, Mohandas said the decision will be taken at an appropriate time later as the shipping industry is not at its best at present.
One of the reasons for putting the stake sale of Cochin Shipyard on hold is said to be delay in its expansion, according to officials. An IPO would make it the first state-owned shipbuilder to be listed on the bourses.
Its clientele ranges from ABG Shipyard Ltd, India's biggest private shipbuilder to Essar Oilfields Services,a unit of the diversified Essar Group and Bharati Shipyard among others.
As far as DCI, a premier dredging company is concerned concerned, its plans, as per Shipping Ministry officials, are being delayed due to its low valuation.
The company had reported a profit of only Rs 39 crore in the last fiscal. DCI's net profit had declined 80 percent to Rs 3.02 crore for the quarter ended June 30 against Rs 15.76 crore during the same period of last financial year.
Visakhapatnam-based DCI is engaged in dredging activities and provides its services in the areas of environmental protection, tourism, flood control, irrigation, power generation, port development, mining, and laying of off-shore pipelines.
The Ministry is also waiting for right time for a stake sale in Ennore Port as a number of projects are underway on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis, as per officials.
The Finance Ministry has set up a disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore for the current fiscal.
While the government has approved disinvestment in ONGC, SAIL, HCL and NBCC, it could mop up only Rs 1,162 crore through five percent stake sale in the Power Finance Corporation in 2011-12.
Last fiscal, the government collected Rs 22,763 crore through sale of equity in public sector enterprises.
First Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 21:50