A source said that DIPAM has already received requests from bidders for delaying the submission of financial bids
However, the source added that the disinvestment targets for FY22 remains unchanged
New Delhi: The Centre’s disinvestment plans for Air India and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) are likely to get delayed in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19 infections in India, a government source said on Wednesday. The source said that the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has already received requests from bidders for delaying the submission of financial bids because of their inability to conduct due diligence of physical assets on the ground in wake of travel restrictions. This, the official said, is likely to delay the disinvestment process of BPCL and Air India.
FY22 disinvestment targets remain unchanged: Source
However, the source added that the disinvestment targets for FY22 remains unchanged. “The plan to disinvest BPCL and Air India by H1 of FY22 may get delayed. But there is no change in FY22 disinvestment plans,” the source added. However, the official added that it would be difficult to comment on how these plans will unfold in the latter part of the year because of the uncertainty brought by a second wave of COVID-19 infections. “It is very difficult to offer any long-term comment right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has put everything in a very uncertain position once again,” said the official.
Air India, BPCL disinvestment: Where do things stand currently?
The Centre is aiming to raise Rs 1.75 lakh crore from disinvestment in FY22. While the process for seeking financial bids for Air India has already begun, for BPCL, the government is yet to invite interested bidders to submit financial bids. Another important disinvestment plan for FY22 is the LIC IPO, the privatisation of Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and CONCOR. These plans were earlier scheduled to materialise in 2020, but got delayed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It remains to be seen how the second wave of infections will impact these plans in FY22.
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