FM says assets sale on track
Earlier this month communist parties, had reaffirmed their opposition to any sale of shares in profitable PSUs.india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 13:43 IST
Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said on Thursday that minority stake sales in some profit making state firms were on track.
"I have said this at the last meeting and I am saying this again that divestment is on track," Chidambaram told reporters after meeting communist leaders.
Earlier this month communist parties, which prop up the Congress party-led coalition, had reaffirmed their opposition to any sale of shares in profitable public sector companies after the government had identified 10 to 15 state firms for sales.
Some of the profitable state firms in which small stakes may be sold are Power Finance Corp, miner Neyveli Lignite Corp, National Mineral Development Corp, Indian Railway Finance Corp and power transmission firm Powergrid.
The federal coalition had previously shelved its share sale plans after opposition from the communists, who fear massive job losses if public firms are privatised.
The cash-strapped government hopes to raise Rs 50 billion from share sales. It is under pressure to fund huge commitments made in its February 2005 budget to help more than 260 million Indians living below the official poverty line.
India has nearly 240 state-run firms, half of them loss making, manufacturing everything from condoms to steel.