EGoM fails to decide on ONGC, BHEL stake sales

February 15th, 2012 - 5:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Sensex New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) The government stumbled in its effort to meet the target of raising Rs.40,000 crore through stake sale in state-owned firms this fiscal as an empowered group of ministers (EGoM) Wednesday failed to decide on off-loading shares in the country’s biggest oil and gas explorer ONGC and engineering major BHEL.

The government was hoping to garner about Rs.14,500 crore from the stake sales in the two public sector undertakings.

“The government is considering auction route for ONGC. No time line has been fixed yet. Empowered group of ministers will meet again shortly,” Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S. Jaipal Reddy told reporters after the meeting of the consultative ministerial group which was to decide on the stake sale.

The EGoM also could not decide on selling stake in BHEL.

“No decision on BHEL disinvestment. May happen next fiscal,” said Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Praful Patel.

Meanwhile, Disinvestment Secretary Mohammad Haleem Khan admitted that the government would fall short of its target of raking in Rs.40,000 crore through stake sale in the current fiscal.

Till February, the government has been able to get only about Rs.4,578 crore through a follow-on public offer in the Power Finance Corporation.

The state of the Indian stock markets over the past few months had impacted the government’s stake sale plans to a major extent. Indian markets were among the worst performing bourses among emerging economies.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange closed 24 percent lower in 2011.

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