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Govt considering selling stakes in IOC, ONGC

Govt is mulling selling its 20% stake in IOC and 5% equity in ONGC in domestic and overseas markets.

business Updated: Nov 12, 2003 15:38 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Government is considering selling its 20 per cent stake in Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and five per cent equity in Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) in domestic and overseas markets as a means to shore up its sagging revenues.

Petroleum Secretary BK Chaturvedi and Disinvestment Secretary Dhirendra Singh will meet on Thursday to firm up the sale plan as part of efforts to meet the Rs 13,200 crore revenue generation target from disinvestment proceeds.

"We are considering the option to sell 20 per cent of our (Government's) share in IOC and five per cent in ONGC through a public issue," Chaturvedi told reporters.

Sale of Government equity in the country largest firm, IOC and India's highest profit-making company ONGC are among the alternatives Petroleum Ministry has listed in its option paper prepared on instructions of the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment.

The CCD had asked for options after stake sale in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) ran into legal trouble.

The option paper, however, does not suggest sale of IOC's petrol stations after hiving them off from the parent firm.

The big-ticket privatisation of HPCL and BPCL was halted by Supreme Court in September on ground that disinvestment in the two PSUs cannot take place without Parliamentary approval.

Chaturvedi, however, said overseas equity sale in IOC and ONGC would not be possible this fiscal as listing requirements could not be fulfilled in the short period left.

"What is possible is a domestic offering (of equity shares) this fiscal," he said adding the Cabinet will decide on divestment in oil PSUs by January.

First Published: Nov 12, 2003 15:38 IST