HCL divestment: Mines Ministry likely approach Cabinet next week | business | Hindustan Times
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HCL divestment: Mines Ministry likely approach Cabinet next week

business Updated: Feb 28, 2010 11:04 IST

The Ministry of Mines on Sunday said that it would, in all probability, approach the Cabinet next week seeking approval for the proposed 20 per cent share sale of state-run copper producer Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL).

"I am trying to push for it (the Cabinet note for 20 per cent divestment in HCL) as quickly as possible. I am even trying to have it in the first week of March," Mines Secretary Santha Sheela Nair told PTI on the sidelines of the National Mineral Awards-2008 conference.

The two-state share sale plan of HCL will see the government selling 10 per cent of its stake in the company. The company will raise fresh equity in same proportion. At present, the Centre holds 99.59 per cent stake in HCL.

HCL plans to fund its Rs 3,500-crore expansion programme by raising equity. The government needs the divestment proceeds to part fund its social sector and infrastructure programmes.

"The Finance Ministry is interested in the share sale. It is generation of revenue for both the company and the government. Normally, there should not be any problem," Nair said, when asked if there could be a delay in getting a go-ahead from the government to launch the follow-on-public offer (FPO) proposed for the next fiscal.

The proposal has already been sent to the Department of Disinvestment, Ministry of Finance, which is examining the modalities of the .

Earlier, the ministry had said that it will seek the Cabinet's clearance for the share sale proposal in the company at least by March 31, 2010.