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Government plans 4 more strategic selloff deals by March-end – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Having finalised two strategic privatisation deals in as many months, the government is looking to clinch at least four more transactions by the end of March — Shipping Corporation of India, BEML, Pawan Hans and Neelachal Ispat, a senior government official has said.
“We are working on several transactions and we are hoping to conclude this by the end of the year,” Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary in the department of investment public asset management (Dipam), told TOI after the government announced the sale of state-run Central Electronics (CEL).

While oil marketing company BPCL is a major company on the sell-off list, its privatisation is expected to spill over into next fiscal year, along with sale of IDBI Bank and a general insurer. The government has also announced the privatisation of two nationalised banks, which are likely to be Indian Overseas Bank and Central Bank of India, for which it needs to move legislative amendments.
After a slow start to the privatisation programme, the Modi government announced the sale of loss-making Air India earlier this year and followed it up with CEL this week.
Unlike AI, which was saddled with massive debt and accumulated losses, Pandey said there are no major liabilities with CEL. “It has much bigger potential. A private owner will help the company grow and enable it to participate more actively in the ‘Make in India’ initiative, especially when electronics is a major part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme,” he said. Pandey said that despite multiple regulatory issues, the government and the Tata Group are targeting the completion of the AI sale by the month-end, although the long stop date is towards the end of January.
Approvals from Competition Commission of India and other agencies are awaited, while AI also needs to make some filings in other countries. Besides, the government has to complete certain formalities related to debt and banks too need to sort out some of the Dipam is processing the privatisation of 17 public sector companies, the government had informed Parliament earlier this week. In five cases such as Scooters India and units of Cement Corporation, the process has been stopped as they are now going to be shut down. issues on the loans extended to AI, Pandey said.


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