Industry

Disinvestment: Rs.30,000 crore, a realistic target?

* The red flag has been raised even as the government earlier this week raised Rs.1,600 crore from a highly subscribed share sale in Power Finance Corporation.

* In 2014-15, the government raised around Rs.25,000 crore against the target of Rs.58,425 crore.

* Although the government has missed its divestment target for five years in a row, the target for the current fiscal 2015-16 is set at a massive Rs.69,500 crore.

Asked to garner a massive Rs.69,500 crore this fiscal, the Department of Disinvestment has told the Finance Ministry that it may be able to raise only about Rs.30,000 crore given the volatile market conditions.

Terming Rs.30,000 crore as a more ‘realistic’ target, the Department has said that a higher target was becoming ‘counter-productive’ in framing of a strategy for sale of shares due to market volatility.

The red flag has been raised even as the government earlier this week raised Rs.1,600 crore from a highly subscribed share sale in Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

If achieved, Rs.30,000 crore would still be the highest-ever disinvestment kitty in a year for the government.

Although the government has missed its divestment target for five years in a row, the target for the current fiscal 2015-16 was set at a massive Rs.69,500 crore — 180 per cent higher than the total amount garnered from PSU share sales in the previous fiscal.

“Unavailability of high-value stocks adds to the constraint. Rs.30,000 crore is a realistic target in this market condition which has been conveyed (to the Finance Ministry),” a highly-placed source said.

Of the targeted Rs.69,500 crore, Rs.41,000 crore was to come from minority stake sale in PSUs and further Rs.28,500 crore from strategic stake sales.

“With this target, the growth rate in disinvestment proceeds would need to be around 180 per cent. This is much higher than the tax revenue growth rate of 16 per cent and that of Government bonds of 10 per cent,” the source said.

In 2014-15, the government raised around Rs.25,000 crore against the target of Rs.58,425 crore. The Rs.58,425-crore target included Rs.43,425 crore from minority stake sale and Rs.15,000 crore from residual stake sale in erstwhile PSUs.

For disinvestment in 2015-16, the government has a pipeline of over 20 PSUs for which it has cabinet approval.

This includes, 10 per cent stake sale each in OIL, IOC, Nalco, NMDC, besides, 5 per cent in NTPC, ONGC, BHEL.

Even as these PSUs would fetch high returns, they would not be able to match the proceeds DoD had garnered via share sale of Coal India last fiscal. The government had sold 10 per cent in CIL in January and raised Rs.22,600 crore.

“For 2015-16, the disinvestment department has promised Finance Minister the highest ever disinvestment proceed in any fiscal. Because of the pressure of high target, the actual realisation gets impacted as strategy cannot be worked out properly,” a source said.



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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 4:43:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/disinvestment-rs30000-crore-a-realistic-target/article7478054.ece

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