In the biggest privatisation drive ever, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the sale of government stake in five Central public-sector enterprises. This includes blue-chip oil firm Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Shipping Corporation of India, on land cargo mover Container Corporation of India, THDC India, and North Eastern Electric Power Corp Ltd (NEEPCO). The sale of stake will include transfer of management control to the strategic buyers in each of these companies.
Cabinet Committee approved sale of government's entire 53.29 per cent stake along with transfer of management control in the country's second biggest state owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) after removing Numaligarh refinery from its fold.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had given approval for the government to reduce stake in certain state-owned companies to below 51 per cent, while retaining majority stake management control.
These firms are those in which the centre already has a stake below 60 per cent, and could include Indian Oil, NTPC, Bharat Electronics, BEML, Engineers India, GAIL India and National Aluminum Co.
This move is different from an outright privatisation as the centre will continue holding a majority stake and management control in these firms and they will still be classified as public sector enterprises
These major divestment decisions were taken even as the government races against time to meet its highest ever divestment target of Rs 1.05 trillion for 2019-20. The Centre hopes that disinvestment proceeds will make up for some of the revenue shortfall that is expected this year.
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