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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

NLC: nodal officer appointed as sought by PM, says Jayalalithaa

PTI  Chennai, July 13, 2013
First Published: 14:58 IST(13/7/2013) | Last Updated: 15:04 IST(13/7/2013)

Tamil Nadu government has appointed a nodal officer to discuss the issue of it buying five per cent NLC shares which Centre has proposed to disinvest.

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In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, chief minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday said a team led by principal finance secretary P Shanmugam has been appointed to discuss the state government's proposal for purchasing five per cent stake in Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).

She said she was was hoping for a positive outcome at a July 15 scheduled meeting in this regard.

Her response came a day after Singh wrote to her seeking appointment of a nodal officer to discuss government's proposal to buy 5% of NLC shares proposed by the Centre to be disinvested.

Jayalalithaa told Singh that the secretary, disinvestment, had written to the state government on July 6, requesting for the appointment of a nodal officer.

"On my directions, the chief secretary replied on July 7 2013, nominating the principal secretary, finance department, as the nodal officer," she said.

The team also included principal secretary, planning and development S Krishnan and an industries joint secretary which was deputed to New Delhi for discussions with the secretary, department of disinvestment, on July 10, she said.

It had "extensive discussions" on various modalities of the disinvestment, including identification of State PSUs which are (QIBs) Qualified Instutional Buyers, and eligible to participate in an Institutional Placement Programme (IPP); the appropriate manner of drafting the eligibility criteria in the offer document, the pricing formula and the time line for effecting the transaction, she said.

The total quantum of disinvestment to be carried out was also discussed by the officials in the light of the regulatory requirements.

"I had already indicated in my letter dated July 7 that while state PSUs would be prepared to buy the entire 5% of equity of NLC proposed to be disinvested, since 6.44% of equity is already with the public, it would be adequate if only 3.56% is offered for sale to meet the regulatory norm of 10% public holding," she said.

Jayalalithaa said she had directed the official team to meet central government and SEBI officials in Mumbai on July 15 to finalise the modalities of the transaction and expected that details of the structuring and execution of the transaction to be finalised in this meeting.

"This would be a positive development which I am confident would enable an early resolution of the labour unrest in Neyveli. I look forward to a positive outcome of the further discussions to be held on 15th July, 2013, between government of Tamil Nadu officials, government of India officials and SEBI and early completion of the transaction," she said.

In his letter to Jayalalithaa on Friday, Singh had said that in order to give a final shape to modalities of such an arrangement, "I would request you to nominate a senior officer from government of Tamil Nadu to coordinate with department of disinvestment and SEBI so that we can comply with the relevant rules before August 8."


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