Mumbai: Vedanta Resources Ltd Chairman Anil Agarwal has said that the company is interested in bidding for BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd) and is evaluating the investment. “We are looking. Evaluation is going on,” Agarwal said at the Times Network India Economic Conclave 2019.
Govt looking to offload 53.29% stake in BPCL
The government is looking to offload its 53.29 percent stake in BPCL. The plan to disinvest BPCL received a nod from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on November 20. If the BPCL sale happens before the end of financial year 2019-20, it will contribute a hefty amount to the government’s disinvestment proceeds. The Centre is looking to raise Rs 1.05 lakh crore from disinvestment.
Agarwal says PSUs fared better under private ownership
Endorsing privatisation of public sector companies, Agarwal said that the public sector companies acquired by his group have fared better under private ownership. “I have acquired four government companies. All four have become three times more (in terms of) production and have shown tremendous capability,” he said. He added that these companies are still being run by public sector employees but the difference has been made by private ownership. Vedanta has acquired Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco), Hindustan Zinc (HZL), and Sesa Goa over the previous years. “One by one privatising these companies will take 10 years. It is better to (do it in) one-shot. The government has no business to be in business,” Agarwal said.
‘Babu-raj should end’
While asserting that “Babu-raj” (bureaucratic raj) should end, Agarwal said, “The job of bureaucrats is to make policies and not execute them. They shouldn't be deciding where a plane (Air India) goes to or how aluminium or oil is extracted.” He noted that because of the government’s strong mandate, it is possible for it to change these policies. “This government has the ability to take strong decisions. If we can’t advance now, we will never advance,” said Agarwal.
‘India spends around $500 billion on importing resources’
The Vedanta Chairman said that India has some of the best natural resource reserves and yet the country spend around $500 billion to import resources. Importing natural resources results in loss of not just foreign exchange reserves but also a loss of jobs, he added. “If we can make all our natural resources companies private, we could curb these imports,” said Agarwal. He added that even if the government’s shareholding goes down to below 50 percent, the management and the chief executive will become independent and the markets will appreciate that.
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