The Cabinet on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for disinvesting stake in 5 blue-chip PSUs, including state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The Cabinet approved a strategic divestment of the government's 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL, along with transfer of certain management control. This is excluding BPCL's equity share holding of 61 per cent stake in Numaligarh Refinery.
"Numaligarh Refinery will be with the government only. It shall not go in for disinvestment. BPCL minus Numaligarh Refinery will go for disinvestment," FM Sitharaman said in a press briefing.
Apart from BPCL, the government has also approved disinvestment in four other central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), Shipping Corp of India (SCI), Container Corp of India, THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO).
The Minister said that the government will sell its stake in THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) to state-owned NTPC Ltd. She added that the Cabinet has also approved cutting government's stake in select PSUs below 51 per cent while retaining management control.
Earlier on Saturday, Sitharaman had announced that the government was aiming to sell state-run entities Air India and oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), which may help the exchequer meet its divestment target of Rs 1 lakh crore in the current fiscal year.
According to global rating agency Morgan Stanley the privatisation of BPCL will reduce government intervention risk and improve marketing margins. The brokerage firm has maintained an overweight rating on the stock with a target price at Rs 571 per share.
As per reports, the government is planning to invite top global oil and gas companies, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips (from the US), Royal Dutch Shell and BP Plc (the UK), Rosneft and LukOil (Russia), Petro China, CNPC and Sinopec (China), Total SA (France) and Saudi Aramco, to bid for its stake in BPCL and ONGC's stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL).
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar with PTI inputs