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More PSUs must be listed: Moily

The government will convene a meeting with the heads of unlisted public sector companies in an attempt to goad them to raise money primarily through capital markets and get listed on bourses as the disinvestment programme gathers steam.

business Updated: Jul 14, 2011 22:36 IST
Mahua Venkatesh

The government will convene a meeting with the heads of unlisted public sector companies in an attempt to goad them to raise money primarily through capital markets and get listed on bourses as the disinvestment programme gathers steam.

“We want as many companies as possible to get listed and in this endeavour, the PSUs must take the initiative. I am planning to call the heads of those PSUs which are not listed to discuss the issue,” Veerappa Moily, who took over as corporate affairs minister on Wednesday told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.

Listing of PSUs has a two fold objective: it will make companies more efficient by forcing them to be more transparent with a stringent disclosure discipline, and the government can also ride piggyback on initial public offerings of PSUs to push its disinvestments programme.

There are 214 central PSUs of which only 25 are listed. Of the total PSUs, 161 are profit making, of which 100 have positive networth. “PSUs must be the forerunners in listing, though the endeavour would be to encourage most companies to list,” Moily said.

He also said that his immediate focus would be to ensure that the small investors are protected. “My priority would be to strengthen corporate oversight and put in place systems that would avoid occurrences of frauds as there is an element of fear among the small investors.” he said. “We want to increase participation of retail investors in the stock market.”

He said that smaller companies are apprehensive of going public due to stringent listing norms and his ministry would address the issue.

At present, retail participation in the stock market at less than 5% is abysmally low and the government is keen to increase it to a double digit figure.