After a hiatus of nearly three years, there is action on the disinvestment front with Central ministries finalising the preparedness for public listing of companies under their administrative control.
The government plans to list profitable central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) each with a net worth of over Rs 200 crore, through IPOs without diluting the “public character” of these firms and through a clearly articulated policy, government sources said.
In case the government decides to divest 10 per cent in each of these companies, it could garner upwards of Rs 20,000 crore, said an official, who did not wish to be identified.
The much-awaited initial public offers (IPO) of state-run NHPC Ltd (formerly expanded as National Hydro Power Corporation) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) could well mark the resumption of the disinvestment programme which has been mired in a web of politics in the last few years.
NHPC, India’s largest hydro-electric company now wholly owned by the government, plans to issue 167 crore equity shares result in the dilution of 15 per cent of government’s holdings.
OIL, an explorer and producer headquartered in Assam, plans to issue 2.6 crore million shares, resulting in dilution of government equity by 11 per cent.
Both the companies had received all necessary regulatory approvals in September last year.
OIL has time until September 10 this year for its IPO, while NHPC’s issue will have to hit the market by September 15. If they don’t they have to get the approvals all over again.
“We are watching the situation, and have not decided on the timeline. Depending on the directions from the government we will take a final view. We are ready with all approvals,” NHPC chairman SK Garg told Hindustan Times.