The government has postponed the selection of merchant bankers and legal advisors for disinvestment in Indian Oil. It intends to sell 10 per cent of its equity in the oil marketing company.

According to the Department of Disinvestment website, the second meeting of the inter-ministerial group, which was supposed to discuss the Indian Oil disinvestment process, has been postponed. The meeting, chaired by the Disinvestment Secretary, was earlier scheduled to take place on Friday. Fresh date for the meeting is not given in the notice.

Thursday’s closing price The Finance Ministry has already circulated a draft Cabinet note for divesting its stake from the current holding of 68.57 per cent in IOC. Based on the closing price of ₹334.75 on Thursday on the BSE, the government can mop up over ₹8,000 crore by selling 24.27 crore shares.

Once the CCEA clears it, the divestment will be carried out through the ‘offer for sale route, which requires little paperwork and can be completed within seven days. Recently, market regulator SEBI permitted reservation of a minimum 10 per cent for retail investors besides the discount. This was used in the disinvestment of Steel Authority of India and Coal India and will be used in future sell-offs, too.

Last year, too, the Finance Ministry had moved a proposal for a stake dilution in IOC through the OFS mechanism. But the nodal Ministry had opposed it saying shares should not be sold through OFS.