Vedanta’s offer to buy out government stakes in Hindustan Zinc and Balco will now be vetted by an inter-ministerial group before being put up to the Cabinet for nod, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

“The Cabinet Secretariat has asked us to consult the offer by Vedanta at the Inter-Ministerial Group first and then bring it to the Cabinet. We are discussing on that,” Mines Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi told reporters on the sidelines of an Assocham event here.

Vedanta Group recently got shareholders’ approval to offer to the government up to Rs 21,635 crore, 25 per cent higher than the earlier offer, for buying 29.5 per cent stake in Hindustan Zinc, and 49 per cent in Balco. Its earlier offers have not been accepted so far.

After receiving the revised offer from The London Stock Exchange-listed Vedanta at the end of last month, the Mines Ministry had forwarded it to the Cabinet Secretary for guidance on reaching at the valuation.

Vedanta had acquired 51 per cent stake in Balco in 2001 and 64.9 per cent stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) during 2002-2003.

In January, the group had offered Rs 15,493 crore for buying 29.5 per cent in HZL, and Rs 1,782 crore for 49 per cent residual holding in Balco.

If it goes through, this deal alone could meet over 72 per cent of the government’s disinvestment target of Rs 30,000 crore for this year.

Asked whether the proposal could be put up before the Cabinet within a month, Trivedi said setting a time-line is not possible now as the matter has to be discussed in the IMG first and a consensus has to be reached at.

The IMG comprises senior officials of the Finance, Mines and other ministries, he said.

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