Finance Ministry seeks clarification on CIL stake-sale

Last Updated: Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 12:36

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has sought certain clarifications on the proposed disinvestment in Coal India, and has asked the Coal Ministry to submit a revised proposal on it.

"The Department of Disinvestment of the Finance Ministry has sent back the CIL disinvestment proposal to the Coal Ministry and has asked them whether it wants to sell its stake or company wants to issue fresh equity," a person in the know of the development told reporters.

"The Coal Ministry wanted their comprehensive view on the proposed disinvestment in Coal India, so it had not clearly mentioned about whose share will be sold in the market," he added.

A senior Coal Ministry official said that a revised proposal would soon be sent to the Disinvestment Department.

Meanwhile, a top CIL official said the company was in the process of finalising the list of issues regarding disinvestment for which it will seek market regulator SEBI`s guidance.

A meeting in this connection was also held on October 16 at Department of Disinvestment, participated by both Ministry and CIL officials and a range of issues were discussed, the official added.

Last month, the Coal Ministry had approached the Disinvestment Department for determining the value of CIL shares ahead of the PSU`s proposed disinvestment and also sought Law Ministry`s opinion on some contents of the plan.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said that steps are on
to offload a maximum of 10 percent of the government`s stake
in CIL. He said that CIL will not be issuing any fresh equity
in the market and in all likelihood the disinvestment will be
held this year.

The Coal Ministry had sought legal opinion on the shares
to be given to the company`s employees and land-losers.

The government may sell 15 percent stake in CIL, on
account of the proposed stock options to employees and
compensation to be given to people from whom land is acquired
for mining purposes, another senior coal ministry official
said.

Besides seeking the two ministries views regarding
disinvestment, the Coal Ministry had also written to the
Public Enterprise Selection Board, regarding appointment of
additional full-time directors on the coal major`s board.

Coal India needs to have seven full-time directors on its
board from the present four in order to be a `Public Ltd`, a
pre-requisite for coming out with an IPO. It is registered as
a `Private Ltd` entity at present.

The company was given Navratna status last year and was
asked to get listed before September 2011. But, industry
observers anticipate listing to happen in an year`s time.

The company has a paid-up equity capital of about Rs
6,316 crore. It clocked a pre-tax profit of Rs 8,738.46 crore
in the last fiscal.

Prior to the proposed stake-sale, the Coal Ministry would
have to introduce a bill to amend the present Coal Mines
Nationalisation Act.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 12:36

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