PSUs likely to take part in BPCL disinvestment

The Centre has asked at least a couple of major PSUs, including IOC and ONGC, to be prepared to take part in BPCL disinvestment
PSUs likely to take part in BPCL disinvestment

New Delhi: The Centre has asked at least a couple of major public sector companies, including IOC (Indian Oil Corporation) and ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), to prepare itself to take part in the disinvestment process of BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd), said a report by The Hindustan Times on Tuesday. The paper quoted two officials privy to the developments.

ONGC, IOC could be last resort for BPCL disinvestment

The officials said on the condition of anonymity that the participation of IOC and ONGC was a contingency measure, just in case private bidders don't actively participate. BPCL's strategic disinvestment by March 31 is crucial to the government achieving its disinvestment target, they said. "It is also possible that a consortium of public sector companies, led by either ONGC or IOC, could bid for the government's stake in BPCL.

However, it could be the last resort and proposed to be exercised only if disinvestment of the company to private entities would appear difficult within this financial year," an official was quoted as saying by the paper. The economy is going through a slowdown for the last six straight quarters in the financial year 2019-20. Despite setting an ambitious disinvestment goal of Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the July budget, it has only managed to accumulate Rs 17,364.26 crore through disinvestment so far.

Tried and tested method

Another official felt that the government would probably adopt a disinvestment model similar to that of HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd) where the stakes were sold off in the last quarter of 2017-18. Early in 2018, ONGC bought the Centre's entire stake of 51.11 percent in HPCL for Rs 36,915 crore. "Such transactions also attract minimum resistance as the controlling stake of one PSU is transferred to another PSU," the other official told the paper.

Companies on the disinvestment list

Following is the list of 28 CPSEs, subsidiaries, units and joint ventures for which the government has given 'in-principle' approval for strategic disinvestment: The Final List

  1. Project & Development India Ltd.
  2. Hindustan Prefab Limited (HPL).
  3. Hospital Services Consultancy Ltd. (HSCC)
  4. National Project construction corporation (NPCC)
  5. Engineering Project (India) Ltd.
  6. Bridge and Roof Co. India Ltd.
  7. Pawan Hans Ltd.
  8. Hindustan Newsprint Ltd(subsidiary)
  9. Scooters India Limited
  10. Bharat Pumps & Compressors Ltd
  11. Hindustan Fluorocarbon Ltd. (HFL) (sub.)
  12. Central Electronics Ltd
  13. Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML)
  14. Ferro Scrap Nigam Ltd.(sub.)
  15. Cement Corporation of India Ltd (CCI)
  16. Nagarnar Steel Plant of NMDC
  17. Alloy Steel Plant, Durgapur; Salem Steel Plant; Bhadrawati units of SAIL
  18. Air India and its five subsidiaries and one JV.
  19. Dredging Corporation of India
  20. HLL Life Care
  21. Indian Medicine & Pharmaceuticals Corporation Ltd. (IMPCL)
  22. Karnataka Antibiotics
  23. Kamrajar Port
  24. Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC)
  25. Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC)
  26. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)
  27. Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd. (HAL)
  28. Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (BCPL)

(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)

PSU Watch