20 central PSUs in pipeline for sale, 6 for shutdown

As many as 20 central public sector enterprises and their units are at various stages of strategic disinvestment, while six are being considered for closure or are under litigation, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said on Monday.

Illustration: Domnic Xavier/Rediff.com.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Singh said the government follows a policy of disinvestment through strategic stake sale and minority stake dilution.

“Based on the criteria laid down by NITI Aayog, the government has ‘in principle’ approved strategic disinvestment in 34 cases since 2016, out of which strategic disinvestment in 8 cases has been completed, six CPSEs are under consideration for closure and litigation, and remaining 20 transactions are at various stages,” Singh said.

The CPSEs which are under consideration for closure/ under litigation are Hindustan Fluorocarbon Ltd (HFL), Scooters India, Bharat Pumps & Compressors Ltd, Hindustan Prefab, Hindustan Newsprint, and Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

The transactions which are in process are Project & Development India Ltd, Engineering Project (India) Ltd, Bridge and Roof Co India Ltd, Units of Cement Corporation of India Ltd (CCI), Central Electronics Ltd, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), Ferro Scrap Nigam Ltd, Nagarnar Steel Plant of NMDC.

Also, the strategic sale of Alloy Steel Plant, Durgapur; Salem Steel Plant; Bhadrawati units of SAIL, Pawan Hans, Air India and its five subsidiaries and one JV (joint venture) are under process.

Besides, HLL Life Care Ltd, Indian Medicine & Pharmaceuticals Corporation Ltd, various units of Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Hindustan Antibiotics, Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (except Numaligarh Refinery Limited), BPCL stake in Numaligarh Refinery Limited to a CPSE strategic buyer, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India and Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd are candidates for strategic sale.

The CPSEs whose strategic sale has been completed are HPCL, REC, Hospital Services Consultancy, National Project Construction Corporation, Dredging Corporation, THDC India Ltd, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) and Kamarajar Port.

Singh said strategic disinvestment implies the substantial sale of government shareholding of CPSEs, which are not in priority sector, along with transfer of management control.

Asked what steps are being taken by the government to safeguard employees’ interest, Singh said upon strategic disinvestment, the management control of the company shall be in the hands of the strategic buyer.

“While deciding the terms and conditions of the strategic sale, employees’ concerns are suitably addressed through appropriate provisions made in the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) to be signed by the government with the strategic buyer,” he added.

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