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Govt to put strategic sale of Pawan Hans on hold till Lok Sabha elections

PW Bureau

According to the strategic disinvestment policy, the Alternative Mechanism will have to take a final call on whether to go ahead with the single bidder or call for fresh bids

New Delhi: The government has decided to put the strategic sale of Pawan Hans on hold till the elections primarily because only one bidder has shown interest in buying the helicopter service provider. “The Transaction Advisor for Pawan Hans has informed us that a single eligible bid has come in. A call has to be taken whether to go ahead with the single bidder or reconvene the entire bidding process. It has been decided to wait till the elections are over and a new government is formed,” a source said.

The ongoing elections are scheduled to be completed on May 23.

Alternative Mechanism will have to take a call

According to the strategic disinvestment policy framed by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), the Alternative Mechanism headed by the Finance Minister is responsible for taking a final call on whether to go ahead with the single bidder or call for fresh bids. If the mechanism decides to call for fresh bids,  it would be in accordance with the modified strategic sale policy being worked out by DIPAM, the official said.

The ownership

The Centre holds 51 percent in Pawan Hans, while the remaining 49 percent is with ONGC. Bidders had time till March 6 to put in their financial bids to acquire a 100 percent stake in the helicopter service provider. The government had initially planned to sell Pawan Hans last fiscal but had failed to do so because only one bidder had shown interest.