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After big bank merger, Modi govt plans merging power companies; NTPC, NHPC to lead

FE Online
The power sector is one of the worst performing from an asset quality perspective for banks (Representational image)

After merging PSU banks, the government is mulling over a plan to consolidate power sector companies, ET Now reported citing unidentified sources. Both finance and power ministries are in advanced talks to merge power firms with NTPC and NHPC, it added. Smaller projects such as Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC), SJVNNSE and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) are expected to be merged with NTPC or NHPC, the report also said.  The Modi government is looking to get nearly Rs 13000 to 14000 crore from these mergers, it added. While shares of NHPC were trading at Rs 23.95, down 0.35 points or 1.44 per cent, NTPC stock was at 122.30, down 2.20, or 1.77 per cent on NSE at the time of reporting.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 30, 2019 announced merger of10 public sector banks to be merged into four. Indian Bank was merged with Allahabad Bank (anchor bank - Indian Bank); PNB, OBC and United Bank to be merged (anchor bank - PNB); Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank to be merged (anchor bank - Union Bank of India); and Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank to be merged (anchor bank - Canara Bank). Post merger, there would be 12 public sector banks in the country. The consolidation of public sector banks will give them scale, the finance minister said.

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden budget, increased the divestment target from Rs 90,000 crore to Rs 1.05 lakh crore for the current financial year. The government mainly plans to focus on consolidation of public sector undertakings and strategic disinvestment. The government appears to rely more on non-tax revenues, including divestment, to reduce fiscal deficit to 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019-20 considering tepid revenue target.