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Home News Power Sector News More PSUs will be disinvested - Manmohan Singh

More PSUs will be disinvested - Manmohan Singh

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PMPrime Minister clearly spelt out the government’s disinvestment policy and stated that more public sector undertakings (PSUs) should be listed on the stock market despite discordant noises from within his Cabinet. “Our government is encouraging the listing of public sector enterprises on the stock markets as this would unlock the true value of a company, improve its corporate governance standards and help it in raising resources for funding future expansion plans,” the PM said, addressing PSU chiefs at an award ceremony in New Delhi .

Earlier in the day, heavy industries minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said the government does not plan to divest in BHEL. “There is no question right now,” said Deshmukh. The government owns 67% stake in Bhel and there is no proposal for further disinvestment, according to him. The plans to divest about 5% stake in Bhel were put on the back burner after staunch opposition from the Left parties who were allies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in its previous term.

Despite divergent signals, it seems that the government’s plan to put more PSU stocks on the bourses will bring about a string of initial public offerings (IPOs) and follow on offers.

“The question is only of the right time, both politically and economically,” a senior government official said. Work has already started on chalking out the divestment plans of three more companies including Engineers India, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). Meanwhile, the plan to divest 5% government stake in navratna power company NTPC was put on hold in the Cabinet meet on Thursday.

As far as sick and loss-making organisations are concerned, the PM said that the government was making efforts to restructure and revive them, wherever possible. “An amount of Rs 15,250 crore has been provided by the government in the last 5 years or so as cash and non-cash support to 36 such enterprises,” he said.

In line with the UPA’s disinvestment policy, the finance ministry is also in the process of issuing guidelines to make it mandatory for all listed companies to have a minimum float of 25% in the stock market.

This implies that a host of companies such as National Mineral Development Corporation, Neyveli Lignite, Indian Oil, MMTC, National Aluminium, Shipping Corporation, Power Finance Corporation, State Trading Corporation, NMDC, SAIL and Power Grid Corporation should be on the anvil for the proposed divestment.

Source - Financial Express

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