Privatisation: Govt will further disinvest stake in these defence PSUs

Minister of state for defence Shripad Naik told Rajya Sabha in a written response that the government is planning to decrease shareholding in defence PSUs GRSE and MIDHANI, while privatisation of BEML is already underway
Privatisation: Govt will further disinvest stake in these defence PSUs

New Delhi: Minister of state for defence Shripad Naik on Monday named the defence PSUs that are going to be privatised or disinvested in the near future. "The Government is planning to decrease shareholding in Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) namely, BEML Ltd., Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI)" Naik told Rajya Sabha in a written response to a question asked by Dr Santanu Sen.

"The completion of a transaction depends on market conditions. Therefore, it is not possible to predict a timeline" Naik added in his response. Of the eight defence PSUs, five PSUs, namely, HAL, MDL, GRSE, BDL and MIDHANI are wholly owned by the Government of India.

Govt made Rs 26,457 crore in the past 5 years

"The govt has collected Rs 26,457 crore by decreasing its shareholding in six defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) in the last five years," Naik further said. Giving detailed information on decreasing stake in Defence PSUs he said Rs 8073.29 crore came from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Rs 14,184.70 crore was collected by decreasing stakes in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Naik said that Rs 2371.19 crore came from Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) while Rs 434.14 crore came from Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI). The yields from GRSE and MDL was Rs 420.52 and Rs 974.15 crore respectively.

"Policy of disinvestment of minority stake without transfer of management control is being followed for priority sector including defence to unlock value, promote public ownership, to meet the minimum public shareholding norms of SEBI and for ensuring higher degree of accountability" his written response added.

Privatisation of BEML

Defence PSU BEML Ltd's privatisation process is already underway. In fact, govt at more than one occasions has said that the process would have been completed by now had COVID not come into the picture. On January 4, the government had invited initial bids from private firms for the sale of 26 percent stake, along with management control, in the defence and engineering public sector undertaking BEML Ltd. The government has appointed SBI Capital Markets Limited as its transaction adviser for the proposed divestment of the BEML stake. Currently, the government holds 54.03 percent stake in the defence PSU. The proposal for the strategic disinvestment of 26 percent share in BEML had received a nod from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in October 2016.

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