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DIPAM ready to move ahead with strategic PSU sales

Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020
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The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is ready to push ahead with strategic sale of several public sector companies (PSUs).

DIPAM is ready with bids and expressions of interest (EoIs) for the oil marketing company, the Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), the Shipping Corporation of India, the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) and BEML planned in November 2020. These four companies can help the government realise close to Rs 49,000 crore, based on current market value of their shares.

In the case of Air India, a ministerial panel is expected to clear the process in October 2020, paving the way for calling expressions of interest (EoI) around mid-December 2020.

But the transaction is only expected to be closed during Q1/FY22. The entire process will gain momentum in coming days.

DIPAM has spent the last few months clearing policy roadblocks for a smooth passage of the process. For instance, in the case of CONCOR, it has finally got the Railways to rework the land licence policy to ensure that there is a level playing field for all container transport companies and it leads to overall development of the logistics sector.

The BPCL disinvestment, which is the key to achieving the Rs 1.2 lakh crore target for 2020, is expected to get moving now as oil prices have improved and the PSU is not carrying inventory acquired at higher cost.

In addition, some of the asset-monetisation moves — including two companies of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL), as well as the Neelachal Ispat Nigam strategic sale — have made significant progress, with the transactions expected to be closed soon.

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