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CCEA approves SAIL disinvestment

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs () today approved 10.82 per cent disinvestment in Steel Authority of India (SAIL). The divestment may help the exchequer raise about Rs 4,000 crore.

The government holds 85.82 per cent stake in SAIL.

Today, the company’s shares closed at Rs 93.10 at the Bombay Stock Exchange, down 0.16 per cent over the previous close. CCEA’s decision, however, was announced after the markets closed.

The government has set a target of raising Rs 30,000 crore through divestment of stake in public sector undertakings in 2012-13.

A few days earlier, it had put Limited’s initial public offering on hold, owing to volatility in the market and the lukewarm response of prospective investors at roadshows last week. Through the , the government plans to divest 10 per cent stake in RINL.

Shah commission’s term extended
The Cabinet has approved a one-year extension of the term of the Shah commission, probing illegal mining. “The term has been extended, as the commission had asked for more time to conduct enquiry,” a senior mines ministry official told Business Standard.

Nod to demerger of
The Cabinet today approved the demerger of about 740 acres of surplus land with erstwhile Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) into a separate company. The land is estimated to raise Rs 6,150 crore for the exchequer. The issue of surplus land has been hanging fire since Tata Communications acquired the company, as the land assets were not part of the deal.

21% import duty on power equipment
The Cabinet has approved levying 21 per cent duty on power equipment imports in India. The move is aimed at benefiting domestic equipment manufacturers, including Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, and engineering giant Larsen & Toubro. It would, however, raise input costs for new capacities being set up by private power producers who source equipment from abroad.

Sugarcane
To provide remunerative prices to sugarcane farmers, the Cabinet has approved an agriculture ministry proposal to increase the fair and remunerative price of cane for the 2012-13 crop marketing season starting October to Rs 170 a quintal, about 17 per cent more than the current rate. However, a decision to amend the was again deferred.

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