The government is likely to set a disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore in the budget estimates for 2011-12 — similar to the amount it expects to net by divesting equity in public sector companies in the current fiscal year.
Over the next three years, government plans to raise at least Rs 40,000 crore annually by selling stake in public sector companies.
“In the future years also, disinvestment receipts is estimated at the same level as budget estimates of 2010-11,” a senior finance ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, said.
The government raised about Rs 25,000 crore as disinvestment proceeds in 2009-10.
So far in 2010-11, the government has raised about R22,763 crore by selling equity in public sector companies.
The big-bang Coal India Ltd’s (CIL) public offer last year had given a boost to the government’s disinvestment programme ahead of a packed calendar as a slew of public issues of state-owned enterprises are set to hit the capital market over the next few months.
A Rs 19,000 crore follow-on public offer (FPO) of the country’ s largest oil refining and marketing company, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), can be expected by early next fiscal year.
In November 2009, the government had decided that public should hold at least 10% shares in all listed profitable government-owned companies.
There are 10 listed public sector companies where public shareholding is less than 10%.
The government has also decided that all unlisted central public sector companies that have made profit in the past 3 years and have a positive net worth (assets greater than liabilities) should get listed on stock exchanges.
About 60 companies qualify for disinvestment under these criteria.