‘There is no immediate plan, considering the current market conditions'

Volatile market conditions and sluggish growth in the power sector have forced the Centre to put on hold its plan for disinvestment in Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL).

“BHEL disinvestment at the moment is on hold, considering the current market conditions and the overall mood in the power sector,’’ Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Praful Patel told journalists here on Friday on the sidelines of a function here.

In July last year, the government had appointed four merchant bankers — Morgan Stanley, DSP Merrill Lynch (Bank of America), ICICI Securities and Kotak Mahindra Capital — for the BHEL’s follow-on public offer.

The government, which holds 67.72 per cent stake in the PSU, had approved a 5 per cent equity stake sale. However, in April, BHEL withdrew the draft red-herring prospectus for the follow-on offer filed with SEBI following instructions by the Finance Ministry. The government plans to mop up Rs.30,000 crore this fiscal through sale of equity in PSUs such as SAIL, Neyveli Lignite, NMDC and Nalco.

Replacing older trucks

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Saurabh Chandra said the Commerce and Industry Ministry had proposed to phase out trucks that were older than 15 years in a bid to push sales of new vehicles in the domestic market.

“In the last quarter, production of heavy commercial vehicles has fallen. So, we will request Mr. Patel to think of an incentive scheme for replacing trucks that are more than 15 years old,’’ he added.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, production of medium and heavy commercial vehicles declined by 21.2 per cent year-on-year to 93,016 units in April-July this fiscal.