Our Bureau

New Delhi, Jan 5

DESPITE opposition from Left parties, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) will meet on Friday to move forward with the proposed sale of Government shares in Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).

The CCEA is expected to decide on the selling of 15 per cent Government stake in NMDC and 10 per cent of NLC through the book-building route.

The Ministries concerned have already sent in their opinions - which are affirmative - in this regard.

However, the proposed disinvestments, if approved, can take place only in the next fiscal because of time constraints. The Ministries concerned are already saddled with the mammoth task of disinvesting residual stake in the five already divested undertakings - CMC, IPCL, IBP, Balco, and VSNL.

The CCEA is also expected to take a final call on the financing of crude oil strategic reserves that will focus on a buffer stock for 54 months to fight shocks in global oil prices or other national priorities.

The other proposals likely to be taken up by the CCEA on Friday include the pricing policy for copra for the 2006 season. It will also take up doubling of remaining Railway track on the Utraitia-Sultanpur-Zafrabad section.

The committee will also discuss fixation of central issue prices for the targeted public distribution system as well as certain additions to the earlier approved scheme on strengthening and development of agricultural education.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 6, 2006)
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