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Govt Approves Biggest Privatisation Drive, Will Sell Stake in BPCL and Four Other PSUs: FM Sitharaman

The government will sell its 53.29% stake in BPCL after taking out Numaligarh refinery in Assam from its portfolio, said Sitharaman.

News18.com

Updated:November 21, 2019, 11:00 AM IST
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Govt Approves Biggest Privatisation Drive, Will Sell Stake in BPCL and Four Other PSUs: FM Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)

New Delhi: In the biggest privatisation drive, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved sale of the government's stake in blue-chip oil firm Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and onland cargo mover Container Corporation of India (Concor), as well as decided to cut shareholding in select public sector firms below 51% to boost revenue collections that have been hit by slowing economy.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved sale of the government's entire 53.29% stake, along with the transfer of management control in the country's second-biggest state-owned refiner BPCL, after removing the Numaligarh refinery in Assam from its fold, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference here.

It also approved the sale of 53.75% of the government holding of 63.75% stake in SCI and 30.9% stake in Concor. The government currently holds 54.80% in the latter.

Besides, the government will sell its entire holding in THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corp Ltd (NEEPCO) to state power generator NTPC Ltd, she said.

In a parallel move, the Cabinet has approved reducing the government's stake in select PSUs, such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), to below 51% while continuing to retain management control. The management control will continue to be retained with the government after considering equity held by other state-run companies in the divested firm.

The government currently holds 51.5% in IOC and another 25.9% through state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), and explorers Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) and the government can potentially sell 26.4 per cent for about Rs 33,000 crore.

Sitharaman said Numaligarh Refinery will be handed over to the public sector oil company to allay concerns of the North East over the privatisation move.

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