The government has no immediate plans to sell stake in state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Petroleum Secretary S. Sundareshan said today.

Both ONGC and IOC had opposed follow-on public offers (FPOs) as ambiguous fuel pricing was affecting their valuations.

“There is no serious consideration (on ONGC and IOC FPOs) at this juncture,” he told reporters here.

The Disinvestment Department had in December sought the oil ministry’s comments on “public offerings from the government’s shareholding” in ONGC and IOC.

The Oil Ministry, however, was of the view that raising funds from the capital market was not prudent till issues like fuel pricing and subsidies, which were affecting share prices of ONGC and IOC, were resolved.

“This is not the correct market time anyway,” he said.

The government does not allow IOC and other retailers BPCL and HPCL to sell petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene at a price in line with the cost and has also failed to compensate them fully for revenues lost.

ONGC is plagued by uncertainty on the net price it will realise on sale of crude oil as the government on an ad-hoc basis asks it to make up for retailers’ fuel losses. Also, revision of the natural gas price has been long pending.

Both ONGC and IOC favoured debt route to raise money in view of the uncertainties plaguing their valuations.

Keywords: ONGCIOCOil Ministry

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