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Inter ministerial panel to meet today on PSU's ETF

According to a government official, the Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) is scheduled to meet on March 25 to discuss the proposed ETF.

Zeebiz Bureau

New Delhi: An inter-ministerial panel is expected to discuss on Monday the selection of legal advisor for planned Exchange Traded Fund comprising shares of listed public sector companies, as part of efforts to push the government's disinvestment programme.

The ETF of PSU shares will be among the modes that the government is expected to tap to reach its ambitious disinvestment target of Rs 55,814 crore next fiscal. In the current fiscal ending this month, it has mopped up Rs 23,920 crore through offloading stake in PSUs.

According to a government official, the Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) is scheduled to meet on March 25 to discuss the proposed ETF.

The meeting is likely to decide on the legal advisor for the proposed launch of such funds, the official said.

Representatives from the ministries of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Law as well as from the Department of Public Enterprises and the Planning Commission, are part of the IMG.

The proposed ETF comprising shares of listed Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) would serve as an additional mechanism for the government to monetise its shareholdings in those companies.

This ETF could be launched as a New Fund Offer (NFO) followed by further tranches and there could be discounts for various classes of investors.

The government has appointed ICICI Securities as the advisor to assist and advise on the ETF.

Applications have been invited from Asset Management Companies (AMCs) that have expertise in managing Equity Mutual Fund or ETF schemes.

Generally, the divestment methods include public offerings, offer for sale through the stock exchange and Institutional Placement programme.

Many public sector companies, including Coal India, Power Grid Corp, Engineers India and NHPC, have been identified for stake sale during 2013-14 period.

Meanwhile, concerned over delays in steel projects including those of Posco and ArcelorMittal's proposed plants in Odisha, costing USD 12 billion each, an IMG is likely to also come out with suggestions to fast-track them.

"The IMG in its meeting, scheduled on Monday would take up the issues impeding steel projects including delays in the grant of environment clearances," said a Steel Ministry official.

"The agenda includes steps for revalidation of environment clearance to POSCO project and grant of mining leases to ArcelorMittal project," the official said.

Other projects to be reviewed by the IMG include Tata Steel's proposed six million tonne steel plant at Kalinganagar in Odisha as well as Bhushan Steel's three million tonne steel plant in the state.
Projects by SAIL and other companies are also likely to be reviewed in the meeting.

With PTI Inputs