Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur on Monday informed the Parliament that 20 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and their units are at various stages of strategic disinvestment. In a written reply to a query in from a member of the Lok Sabha, Thakur said that transactions have been completed in eight CPSEs while there are six CPSEs under consideration for closure or under litigation.
Big names who figure in the transactions-under-process head are Air India, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Shipping Corporation of India. Earlier in February this year, the Centre had set a divestment target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore for FY21. Many experts feel that this will be a challenging task to achieve, considering the unfavourable environment created by the pandemic and subsequent disruptions to economic activity.
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has thrice extended the bid deadline for Air India. Similarly, the deadline for BPCL has been extended to the end of September. In FY20, the Department has missed the divestment target of Rs 65,000 crore by Rs 14,701 crore since it had to defer a number of Offer For Sales (OFS), including those of Coal India, SAIL and Hindustan Aeronautics.
“Strategic Disinvestment implies substantial sale of Government shareholding of CPSEs, which are not in priority sector, along with transfer of management control,” Thakur said.
“Besides, in certain other CPSEs, the Government carries out disinvestment of minority stake without transfer of management control from time to time through various SEBI-approved methods IPO, OFS, Buyback and ETF, he added.