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More PSU disinvestment: After HPCL, govt plans strategic stake sale in BPCL, four others

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Carrying forward its divestment plan, the government is mulling over stake sale in the five central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), CNBC TV18 reported citing unidentified sources. The government may seek cabinet nod for strategic stake sale in the state-owned BPCL, CONCOR and SCI, the report added. In addition, approval will also be sought for acquisition of THDC by NTPC and NEEPCO by NHPC, it also said. The government has increased disinvestment target to over Rs 1 lakh crore for the current financial year in the last budget. The government while presenting the interim budget 2019-20 in February this year had pegged the disinvestment target of Rs 90,000 crore.

The government has a goal of raising Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 crore through stake sale in FY20 via investment by foreign firms in PSUs, global news agency Reuters recently reported. In January last year, ONGC purchased the government’s entire 51.11 per cent stake in HPCL for Rs 36,915 crore. Thereafter, HPCL became its subsidiary. On Tuesday, BPCL shares surged for a third day to hit their highest level in 52 weeks on Tuesday after reports that the government seeks stake sale in the firm in FY20 itself.

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Meanwhile, the government has already expressed its intent for 100 per cent stake sale in Air India. On last Thursday, a group of ministers led by Home Minister Amit Shah met to discuss privatisation of the national carrier with an aim to slash its stake in the debt-ridden company. The panel, which had Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, discussed key issues relating to selling complete sale of stake in the airline.