The office of Communications Minister A Raja issued a statement on Thursday that news reports that his ministry was considering an Initial Public Offer to divest a 10 per cent equity stake in state telecom behemoth Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited was only a tentative proposal with no clear indication of if or when the company would go public.
The statement said the minister had only tentatively responded to a reporter's question last Monday.
"It was told by the Hon'ble Minister of Communications and IT that the matter would be discussed internally in the ministry and with various stake holders and then a suitable decision would be taken in this regard. IPO for BSNL would be issued, if considered appropriate and the same would be intimated to the media accordingly," it said.
The statement that underplayed widespread talk of a BSNL offer -- including the mention of a valuation figure of $100 billion attributed to BSNL's finance director SD Saxena -- followed protests from BSNL's unions and left-wing political parties opposed to disinvestment and privatisation.
The unions had threatened to strike work if the IPO plan was pursued.