Vilas Rao Deshmukh, minister for heavy industries and public enterprises, on Thursday said his ministry was awaiting “clear-cut guidelines” from the government regarding divestment in state-run BHEL.
“We are waiting for clear-cut guidelines from the government to go ahead with the disinvestment programme. Also the board for BHEL would decide on the quantum of stake to be divested in the company. They are yet to send a proposal to our ministry,” Deshmukh told reporters outside Parliament. “The government has the intention to disinvest stake in PSUs but there is no time table for the exercise.”
The stalled disinvestment programme of PSUs was being looked as an option to bridge a yawning fiscal deficit amid the government’s growing expenditure to fund welfare programmes.
The government plans to list profitable Central public sector undertakings (CPSUs), each with a net worth of over Rs 200 crore, through initial public offerings (IPOs) without diluting the “public character” of these firms and through a clearly articulated policy.
The government is very clear that it would not opt for the strategic sale route. Sale of equity will start with listed PSUs.
For profitable PSUs are already listed, the minority stake sale will be carried out either in conjunction with a public issue of fresh equity by the firm concerned or independently by the government through an offer for sale. At present, there are 44 CPSEs listed on stock exchanges.