In a major thrust to the disinvestment programme, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday decided that all listed Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) would offload 10 per cent of their holding in the public domain and all unlisted profitable state-owned entities should go public.

“All profitable listed CPSEs should need the mandatory listing of 10 per cent public ownership. The government has also decided that all unlisted CPSEs, which have made profit in the past three years and have a positive net worth, should get listed on stock exchanges. The CPSEs would enter the market at an appropriate time,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told journalists after the CCEA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

At present, there are over 40 listed state-run companies, and over 100 others, including telecom behemoth Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), qualify for listing.

The decision will have a bearing on the mineral major NMDC and MMTC as the public shareholding in these companies is 1.62 and 0.67 per cent.

SEBI regulation

As per a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulation, the listed companies are required to divest a minimum of 10 per cent of the equity to the public.

Mr. Chidambaram said the proceeds of the disinvestment would go to meet the capital expenditure of the social sector programmes.

In pursuance of its disinvestment programme, the government offloaded its stake in the hydro power major NHPC and Oil India Limited (OIL) this fiscal and raised Rs. 2,013 crore and Rs 2,247 crore.

It has unveiled plans to reduce its shareholding in the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and the Rural Electrification Corporation.

As per its disinvestment policy, the government is committed to offloading equity in public sector undertakings while retaining a 51 per cent stake

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