The government has asked state-run firms to pay dividends of at least 30 percent of their profits after tax or their equity, whichever is greater, as part of efforts to curb the budget deficit.
"Firms with large cash surpluses, such as Coal India, could also issue bonus shares," the finance ministry said in a statement.
The state-run firms have previously paid dividends varying between 20 and 30 per cent of their profits.
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