Beginning the current fiscal with successful disinvestment of 9.33 per cent stake in MMTC, the Government now plans to dilute its stake in Coal India. It is targeting to raise Rs 20,000 crore through Coal India disinvestment.

“Coal India is on the list of companies that we have to disinvest in. The Coal Ministry is talking to the unions. There are some voices of protest. We will explain to them,” Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said at a news conference here on Thursday.

The Government currently owns 90 per cent in the coal mining company. It plans to divest 10 per cent stake.

An inter-ministerial panel has already approved the sell-off. On Thursday, Coal India’s shares closed 1.40 per cent lower at Rs 299.05 on the BSE.

Chidambaram said all disinvestment proceeds will go for capital investment in banks and other public sector companies.

FM’s assurance

“If I disinvest in Coal India and if its raises Rs 20,000 crore, the entire money will go into the public sector. I am not using the money for current expenditure. Therefore, my appeal to the Coal India union is that they should have no fear at all that the money will be used for other purposes. Whatever we are getting out of the disinvestment, we are putting it back to the PSU and public sector banks,” he said.

He further said he was confident of achieving the disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore in the current fiscal.

“While kicking of the disinvestment today with MMTC’s 9.33 per cent stake sale, I have enough time to achieve the target,” he said.

Coal India, which has a cash balance of about Rs 60,000 crore, will be the single largest disinvestment for the Government in the 2013-14 fiscal.

The Disinvestment Department is working on the mode of disinvestment of the PSU and most likely the stake sale would be done through offer-for-sale and buy-back by the company. To meet the target, the department has already identified a host of Central Public Sector Enterprises for selling minority stake. These include Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Aeronautics.