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Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 10:10 PM; last updated: Nov 21, 2019, 7:36 AM (IST)

Govt nod to biggest privatisation drive; to sell stake in BPCL, SCI, Concor

Govt nod to biggest privatisation drive; to sell stake in BPCL, SCI, Concor
The Cabinet approved sale of government’s entire 53.29 per cent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. File photo

New Delhi, November 20

In the biggest privatisation drive ever, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved sale of government’s stake in blue-chip oil firm BPCL, shipping firm SCI and onland cargo mover Concor, as well as decided to cut shareholding in select public sector firms below 51 per cent to boost revenue collections that have been hit by slowing economy.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved sale of government’s entire 53.29 per cent stake along with transfer of management control in the country’s second biggest state owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) after removing Numaligarh refinery from its fold, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.

It also approved sale of 53.75 per cent out of the government holding of 63.75 per cent stake in Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and 30.9 per cent stake in Container Corp of India (Concor).

The government currently holds 54.80 per cent in Concor.

Besides, the government will sell its entire holding in THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corp Ltd (NEEPCO) to state power generator NTPC Ltd, the minister said.

Parallely, the Cabinet has approved reducing government’s stake in select PSUs such as Indian Oil Corp (IOC) to below 51 per cent while continuing to retain management control.

The management control will continue to be retained with the government after considering equity held by other state-run companies in the divested firm.

The government currently holds 51.5 per cent in IOC and another 25.9 per cent through state-owned Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC), and explorers Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) and the government can potentially sell 26.4 per cent for about Rs 33,000 crore.

Sitharaman said Numaligarh Refinery will be handed over to the public sector oil company to allay concerns of the North East over privatisation move. — PTI

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