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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Govt to start early to meet sell-off target

Mahua Venkatesh and Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 01, 2013
First Published: 21:09 IST(1/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:11 IST(1/3/2013)

The government, which is banking heavily on disinvestment proceeds to generate revenue, has indicated that stake sales of public sector enterprises to meet the Rs. 40,000-crore sell-off target for 2013-2014 would begin by May, against the usual practice of taking up the exercise only in the later half of a fiscal year.

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"We want to kickstart the disinvestment process right from the beginning and there is no reason why it should start only during the second half of any fiscal," a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified, told HT.

The divestment list includes North Eastern Electric Power Corp Ltd (NEEPCO), THDC India Ltd (THDCIL) and Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL). HCL would go in for its second phase of stake sale. In the first phase, the government had divested 5.58% in the company in November last year.

Disinvestment of stakes in MMTC, NALCO and Rashtriya Chemicals, originally slated for the current fiscal year, could also be taken up during the April-June quarter of the next fiscal year, officials said.

"Inter-ministerial consultations for a 10% stake sale in NEEPCO and THDCIL have started," a power ministry official said.

Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general, Confederation of Indian Industry, said the government must adhere to the projected target. "It is crucial to meet the target and the government must start the process early."


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