Thursday, January 15, 2015

Centre to sell 10% stake in IOC in March

CENTRE is mulling to offload 10-percent of its stake in Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation's biggest company, by March to raise about Rs 8,150 crore.
The Department of Disinvestment (DoD) has circulated a draft note for the consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for sale of 10 percent...
out of government's 68.57 per cent stake in IOC, sources privy to the development said.
It has sought comments on the proposal from Petroleum Ministry as well as Departments of Expenditure, Public Enterprises and Economic Affairs. Comments of the Law Ministry and Ministry of Corporate Affairs too were sought.
Disinvestment in ONGC is also likely if the government can sort out the subsidy sharing formula.
The plan to sell 24.27 crore equity shares in IOC was mooted after big-ticket disinvestment in Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) got stuck in subsidy issue.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had discussed possible disinvestment candidates in oil sector, other than ONGC, with petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on January 8.
Government was to sell 5 per cent of its stake in ONGC to raise Rs 17,000-18,000 crore.
But due to tumbling global oil prices and the rising subsidy burden the shares of the ONGC have fallen from Rs 472 in June last year to Rs 343.85 on January 14.
At current price, the government will get no more than Rs 15,000 crore.
In 2014-15, the government has sold 5 per cent stake in steel major SAIL to garner Rs 1,700 crore. It is racing against time to meet its disinvestment target of Rs 43,425 crore for this fiscal. Blue-chip companies like ONGC, NHPC and Coal India had been lined up for disinvestment.
Sources said disinvestment in ONGC too can happen provided the government is able to rework the subsidy sharing formula.
The oil ministry wants the payout by ONGC and other upstream producers like OIL for subsidising LPG and kerosene to be reduced to the extent of the statutory oil cess they pay to the government.
According to a new subsidy sharing formula, the payout is to be reduced to the extent of Rs 4,500 per tonne oil development cess they pay to the government. The cess in current fiscal will total Rs 10,500 crore.
ONGC and OIL have already paid Rs 31,926 crore in fuel subsidy in the first half and if the ministry's proposal is accepted, their payout in remainder of the current fiscal will be no more than Rs 8,000 crore.

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