The Finance Ministry today said it does not anticipate any backlash from PSU employees against divestment in state-run companies and the target of Rs 40,000 crore under this head next fiscal is ‘modest’ and achievable.

“This year, if we can put in Rs 25,000 crore, next year Rs 40,000 crore is modest,” Revenue Secretary Sunil Mr. Mitra said at a CII seminar. He added that he does not anticipate any problem on disinvestment front.

“There need not be any serious backlash whether from employees or other stakeholders in divestment process. Because it is very marginal listing kind of process. I don’t anticipate any problem on this,” he said.

Before taking charge as Revenue Secretary, Mr. Mr. Mitra was holding the portfolio of Disinvestment Secretary.

In the current fiscal, proposed NMDC issue will help the government mop up Rs 25,000 crore from disinvestment.

However, the government has upped the revenue target from sale of government equity in PSUs to Rs 40,000 crore in 2010 - 11, according to Budget estimates.

This fiscal, disinvestment has been made in Oil India Ltd, NHPC, NTPC, while the issue of Rural Electrification Corporation closed recently for subscription.

NMDC is also lined up for this fiscal, while Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, earlier scheduled for the current fiscal will now hit markets during 2010-11.

As per the Cabinet’s decision, all listed profitable PSUs should have a public holding of at least 10 per cent and all profitable unlisted PSUs should be listed.

According to this criterion, 60 state-run companies are eligible for disinvestment. Earlier, Mr. Mitra, holding charge of disinvestment portfolio had said that the Department expects some of the big PSUs like Coal India, BSNL and SAIL to be disinvested in the next fiscal.

Besides, Engineers India Ltd has also got Cabinet’s nod to reduce the government’s stake. The Finance Ministry expects the action plan for disinvestment to be ready next month.

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