Notwithstanding the poor investor response at international roadshows to the sale of government’s equity in Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the finance ministry is in no mood to relent and has even set aside the petroleum ministry’s concerns over the timing of disinvestment in this Fortune 500 oil company.
Refusing to let go of revenues worth around Rs. 5,000 crore that it is expected to rake in from a 10% stake sale in IOC, the finance ministry has proposed the option of selling this stake to other oil public sector units including Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India (OIL).
“A note proposing the option of ONGC and Oil India picking up 10% stake in IOC has been prepared,” petroleum secretary Vivek Rae told HT on the sideline of Petrotech 2014 on Sunday.
“The finance ministry is concerned about its revenues coming from disinvestment in PSUs and not on the mode of generation, which can either come by way of disinvestment, cross-holding or special dividend...they also have no objection to IOC shares being bought by the consortium of ONGC and OIL,” he added.
“We are keen to take on the disinvestment exercise of companies including oil majors... we are looking at all options as the government has to move fast on disinvestment if it wants to adhere to the fiscal deficit target of 4.8% in 2013-14,” said Arvind Mayaram, economic affairs secretary.
An empowered group of ministers (EGoM) headed by finance minister P Chidambaram, will meet this week to look at alternatives to meet the disinvestment target.