CCEA to take a call on residual stake sale in Hind Zinc, Balco soon

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Decision on 12% stake sale in Nalco

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is to take a call on residual stake sale in Hindustan Zinc and Balco along with disinvestment in Nalco.

These three companies can fetch the exchequer over Rs 19,000 crore. The Government aims to mop up Rs 30,000 crore through disinvestment this fiscal.

A senior Government official told Business Line, “The Ministry of Mines is moving a note for the CCEA to seek guidance on Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal’s proposal on residual stake sale in Hindustan Zinc and Balco.”

Agarwal sent a reminder to the Prime Minister last month requesting him to decide soon on his proposals for buying back of residual stake in the two companies.

Vedanta has offered Rs 17,000 crore for buying back the Government’s residual stake in the two companies.

“The note will not talk about whether the price offered is less or not. It will simply put the case before the committee with a request to chart out the action,” the official added. There is a thinking in the Government that even if it loses the case in arbitration process, it may get Rs 17,000 crore.

Earlier, this matter was to be discussed by an empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM). But after Pranab Mukherjee became President, an empowered Group of Ministers under his chairmanship to decide on residual stake sale in Hindustan Zinc and Balco was disbanded. That is why the matter is being brought before the CCEA.

Vedanta has offered Rs 15,000 crore for buying 26 per cent stake in HZL and Rs 2,000 crore for 49 per cent in Balco.

A Committee of Secretaries has already considered the proposal. The official admitted that delay in taking a decision is not good as the implementation of this proposal can help meet more than 50 per cent of the disinvestment target.

On July 6, Agarwal, after meeting Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, had said that Vedanta’s offer was according to the terms of the agreement, and that he was open to discuss with the Government. He had requested the Government to consider his proposal.

NALCO stake sale

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee is expected to take a call soon on offloading 12 per cent stake in Nalco. Another Government official said, “The Department of Disinvestment asked for consent of the Department of Mines for sale of 12 per cent Government equity, which the latter agreed to.”

The 12 per cent stake sale will bring down the Government’s stake in Nalco to 75 per cent. This can serve two purposes – bringing in revenue for the Government and at the same time fulfilling the market regulator SEBI’s order about minimum public shareholding of 25 per cent by June 2013.

Published on August 20, 2012

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