Govt expecting Rs 24k cr from disinvestment
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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 00:09
  
New Delhi: The government expects to mop up a tidy Rs 24,000 crore in this fiscal with four more public issues of state-owned companies hitting the capital market in the next two-and-a-half months.

"We may (get) close to double than what our supplementaries are (receipts shown from disinvestment in the first batch of supplementary demands for grants)," Disinvestment Secretary Sunil Mitra told CNBC-TV 18 in an interview.

The government had initially in the Budget for 2009-10 proposed to raise Rs 1,120 crore from disinvestment, but later increased the expected receipts to Rs 12,200 crore while presenting the first batch of supplementary demands for grants in Parliament in December.

It now expects to get about Rs 24,000 crore by offloading equity in six PSUs, two of which -- Oil India Limited (OIL) and National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC) – have already been completed yielding government about Rs 3,000 crore.

The government proposes to complete stake sale in NTPC, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) by end of March, Mitra said, adding the "we could look at fairly large number of IPOs and FPOs next year".

Higher receipts from disinvestment would provide some respite to the Finance Ministry which is struggling to contain the fiscal deficit which is budgeted to go up to 6.8 per cent of the GDP from 6.2 per cent a year ago.

Mitra further said that while the government offloaded equity in only three PSUs during the five-year period ending July 2009, it hoped to disinvest stake in six PSUs in the current fiscal and "pace will go up further" in coming years.

The road shows for follow-on public offer of NTPC is on, he said, adding REC would hit the capital market in February, and NMDC and Satluj Vidyut Nigam in March.

NTPC issue, he added, could fetch the exchequer Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 crore, though the actual amount would depend on the market conditions and the issue price.

In the next fiscal, he said, companies like Coal India Limited (CIL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) would come out with their maiden public issues.

Among the major listed companies, he said, SAIL and Engineers India would also be coming up with its follow-on public offer next fiscal.

Answering questions on disinvestment of trading major MMTC, he said, the department has not yet firmed up its view.

The government, as per the disinvestment policy approved by the cabinet, was looking at offloading equity in 60 PSUs.

On issue of differential pricing of shares to encourage participation of retail investors, Mitra said, the SEBI laws do not permit giving shares to retail investors at a discount. "I have an handicap", he added.

Under the current norms, he said, shares at discounted prices can only be given to employees of a company.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 00:09


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