Sticking to the disinvestment proceeds of Rs 40,000 crore with barely four months left in the 2011-12 financial year, the government on Friday said it is looking at various options, including the buy-back of shares by PSUs, to meet the target.
"As of now, no one is in the mood for revising the disinvestment target. We have various alternative options for disinvestment and the proposal is before the Cabinet, with expectations that if they work, we will meet the target," Disinvestment Secretary Mohammad Haleem Khan said on the sidelines of an Assocham event in New Delhi.
The Centre has set a mammoth target for raising Rs 40,000 crore through disinvestment this fiscal. However, with eight months already over, it has been able to mop up only Rs 1,145 crore through the follow-on offer of Power Finance Corporation.
In the last fiscal, the government could garner only Rs 22,144 crore against the disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore.
Given the volatility in capital markets in the backdrop of the global and domestic economic situation, the government has not come out with any public offer for sale of its stake in PSUs, barring PFC, this fiscal.
Khan added, "The bearish market is not bringing much results, but we are pinning our hopes on the alternative options we have suggested."
Earlier, Finance Secretary RS Gujral had said the government is looking at innovative methods to sell its holding in public sector units to meet the disinvestment target. Under the buyback mode, the government can raise money by selling its equity in a company to the PSU itself.
"There are options, including buyback. That is one of the options," Gujral had said.
According to sources, the DoD had circulated a Cabinet note to seek the views of different ministries on the sale of government equity in PSUs through the buy-back mode.
About a dozen cash-rich PSUs - including Coal India, SAIL, NMDC, ONGC and NTPC -- have been identified for the purpose, they added.