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EXCLUSIVE: EOIs for CONCOR, IDBI Bank privatisation likely this month, says DIPAM Secy Tuhin Kanta Pandey

EXCLUSIVE: EOIs for CONCOR, IDBI Bank privatisation likely this month, says DIPAM Secy Tuhin Kanta Pandey

Talking exclusively to BT, DIPAM secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey has said that the government is moving along with the privatisation plans for CONCOR and IDBI and that expressions of interest will be invited this month.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management

After the initial public offer of insurer Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), there are many entities like Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), Pawan Hans, IDBI Bank, SCI, etc. which are lined up for privatisation and the process is ongoing for completing the transaction of these public sector firms. Clearing the fog around these transactions, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), talking exclusively to Business Today, said that there is a possibility that the government may invite expression of interests (EOIs) for companies like CONCOR and IDBI this month.

“CONCOR privatisation is contingent upon land policy on which railways is very actively working on. Especially from Gati Shakti exercise, they are going for a broader policy change. Within that broader policy change, I hope CONCOR clarity will come. [And] until and unless clarity is not given to CONCOR, the transaction can’t take place. There is a possibility that in a month or so we will invite the EOI for CONCOR privatisation,” Pandey said.

The government has given its nod to sell 30.8 per cent out of its 54.8 per cent holding in CONCOR and management control to strategic buyers. Similarly, throwing light on the progress on the privatisation of IDBI bank, Pandey pointed out that in a month or so the government will be inviting EOI for IDBI Bank privatisation too.

“We are right now involved in road shows and we will do certain physical road shows also. In LIC IPO we did not have time and resources to do physical road shows. I think, in this month we will be good to go and invite EOIs for IDBI bank privatisation [as well],” Pandey said.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in May 2022 approved “in principle" the strategic disinvestment and transfer of management control in IDBI Bank. For the disinvestment, amendments to the IDBI Bank Act have been made through the Finance Act 2021 and advisors have also been appointed.

The government has set the disinvestment target at Rs 65,000 crore in the Union Budget of 2022-2023, which is very less than previous year disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore. According to Pandey, so far, the government has received Rs. 24,046.40 crore that includes proceeds of Rs 20,560 crore from the LIC IPO.