Thursday, October 6, 2022

Disinvestment: India to allow global players to bid for oil PSUs

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New Delhi: Reports emerging from ADIPEC 2019 have quoted Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as saying that India will allow global energy companies to bid for state-owned oil companies during disinvestment. The statement comes as the Union Cabinet is set to take up a proposal to disinvest BPCL. Pradhan added that the proposed partnership with Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC for building a $44-billion mega refinery complex in Maharashtra was on “right track.”

Disinvestment: India invites foreign players

Wire services quoted Pradhan as telling the press in Abu Dhabi that India was “inviting” foreign majors and he was “enthusiastic” about their participation. The government is planning to sell off its entire 53.29 percent stake in BPCL, India’s third-largest fuel retailer and second-largest refiner, in order to meet its disinvestment target for the current fiscal.

‘Doors for foreign investors was opened by PM Modi’

The minister, who is in Abu Dhabi to attend ADIPEC 2019, said that the doors for foreign investors’ entry into India’s fuel retail market was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he met heads of global oil majors in Houston during his visit to the US recently. The Prime Minister’s round-table was attended by CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Rosneft, Saudi Aramco and ADNOC.

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The backdrop

The news comes a day after an internal note showed that Indian Oil is considering picking up the government’s stake in BPCL. And this is not being done at the behest of the government, but because of concerns at the state-run fuel retailer that privatisation of BPCL could put the oil PSU’s market share at risk. However, it remains to be seen whether the government would want to repeat the past and go for a deal where the shareholding is transferred from the Centre to a PSU, as happened in the case of HPCL and ONGC.

(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Telegram. Join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram and stay updated)

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