The government is likely to consider calling fresh bids for state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) if the present bidders do not move forward with financial bids. Indicating this, a Finance Ministry official said the situation will become clear soon.
Speaking at the India Today Budget 2022-23 roundtable, disinvestment secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said, “BPCL disinvestment has been caught up in energy transitions. We have initial bidders, but we are getting a bit of a pushback on financial bids. You need hands to clap in competitive bidding process. It is a bit of the oil and coal sector and the carbon economy. BPCL is not on a back burner, but we need the financial bids to come in.”
So far, the Vedanta group, private equity firm Apollo Global and I Squared Capital's Think Gas arm had expressed interest in buying the government's 52.98 per cent stake in the company. The government was hopeful of executing the BPCL sale by March this year at a $13 billion valuation.
BPCL's winning bidder will get access to a 25.77 per cent market share in India's fuel retail market, along with a 15.3 per cent of India's refining capacity. BPCL operates four refineries in Mumbai, Kochi, Bina, and Numaligarh, with a combined refining capacity of 38.3 million tonnes per annum.
The centre has pegged next year's disinvestment revenue collections target at Rs 65,000 crore. For the current fiscal, the target has been revised lower by 55 per cent to Rs 78,000 crore. The government has mopped up Rs 12,030 crore on this account.
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