No plan to disinvest in BHEL as of now: Patel

No plan to disinvest in BHEL as of now: Patel New Delhi: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Praful Patel on Wednesday said there is no immediate plan to divest government stake in power equipment maker Bhel.

"As of now, there is no plan to disinvest in Bhel," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 4th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meet here.

"Last year there was a proposal (to bring the follow-on public offer) of Bhel, but we did not go for it because of power sector outlook," he added.

In July 2011, the government had appointed four merchant bankers, Morgan Stanley, DSP Merrill Lynch (Bank of America), ICICI Securities and Kotak Mahindra Capital, for Bhel's follow-on public offer.

The government, which holds 67.72 percent stake in the PSU, had approved disinvestment of 5 percent shareholding.

However, in April 2012, Bhel had withdrawn the Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) for the follow-on offer filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), following an instruction by the Finance Ministry.

The government is planning is raise Rs 40,000 crore by way of PSU stake sale in the current fiscal and has lined up a host of companies, including Indian Oil, Engineers India, Bhel and Coal India for divesting minority stake.

In the last fiscal (2012-13), the government has raised Rs 23,920 crore through disinvestment.

Bhel scrip closed at Rs 182.80, up 0.25 percent from the previous close on the BSE.

On Scooters India Ltd (SIL), Patel said: "There is already a revival plan for SIL and we will go by it. But if there is an opportunity where we may find a joint venture partner, we will look at it."

He said however that as market conditions are not favourable for a joint partner at the moment, it is better to revive the company.

In January, the Cabinet approved the Rs 200-crore revival package for ailing public sector unit (PSU) SIL.
Incorporated in 1972, SIL initially manufactured scooters under the brand name Vijai Super for the domestic market and Lambretta for overseas markets.

Later, it ventured into the three-wheeler segment with the Vikram brand. In 1997, it stopped two-wheeler production and is now engaged in the manufacture and marketing of only three-wheelers.

PTI