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Centre to invite EoIs for divestment of Container Corporation of India

Wednesday, 06 Jan 2021
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The Central government is likely to seek expression of interest (EoI) for strategic divestment of the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) by the end of January 2021, as it pushes forward with its disinvestment drive in FY21.

Potential bidders will be invited for purchasing about 30 percent stake in the public sector enterprise after the Ministry of Railways brings out policy for land leasing, which has been the key issue holding back the initiation of divestment process.

The Ministry of Railways was close to finalising the policy which will reduce the lease rates by a half and extend the leasing period to long term basis instead of short term.

The leasing rate is being planned to be brought down to three percent and the leasing period will have to be made 30-35 years to make it attractive (for potential buyers).

The leasing policy will require approval from the Cabinet which, if delayed, could well push the disinvestment process into FY22.

Typically, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which is the nodal body undertaking divestment of public sector enterprises, gives about a month's time or more for bidders to put in their bids.

In the case of CONCOR, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had given in-principle approval for strategic divestment in November 2019.

The Central government has set a target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore through disinvestment for FY21. The current proceeds stand at Rs 27,577 crore, of which Rs 13,844 crore has come from disinvestment, and Rs 13,733 crore from dividend receipts.

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