The disinvestment process in Government-owned companies may begin next month.

Disinvestment Secretary Mohammad Haleem Khan said, “I am hopeful that I should be able to do something in September. Meeting the target should not be a problem because we have enough in the pipeline and my team is working on other cases.”

The Government aims to collect Rs 30,000 crore through offloading its stake in the various public sector undertakings.

Talking to the reporters on the sidelines of a SCOPE event, he said once the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’ (CCEA) approval is obtained, PSUs could hit the capital market.

He said disinvestment was part of economic reforms and should not be seen as a compulsion on the part of Government to raise resources.

The Department has been contemplating stake sale in 15 State-owned companies, including blue chips like BHEL, SAIL, HAL and Oil India in the current fiscal.

The Secretary said several listed PSUs had initiated the exercise to increase public shareholding, though some sick ones may find it difficult to meet the target date.

“Most of companies that are supposed to meet free float norms are already taking steps and will be in the market in due course of time,” he said.

Earlier, Director-General of SCOPE U.D. Choubey said more autonomy should be given to PSU managements to decide on the timing of IPOs/FPOs of their companies. They should also be taken into confidence before fixing the price of their shares, he added.

shishir.sinha@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 8, 2012)
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