This fiscal, the government has managed to collect only Rs.1,325 crore through stake sale in six PSUs

As the fiscal draws to a close, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked Ministries concerned to push for various options to meet revenue targets, which include more disinvestment in public sector undertakings such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) and Coal India Ltd (CIL).

“BHEL and Coal India have been asked to come back with various options. These options are buy-back, dividend payments, disinvestment… Ministry of Heavy Industries, Coal Ministry [have been asked] to work out the best option for raising proceeds as an alternative to disinvestment. The money has to be raised through these options,” Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told journalists here on Tuesday. Mr. Chidambaram met the Prime Minister along with Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel to iron out differences over disinvestment in CIL and BHEL and speed up their disinvestment planned for the current financial year. Mr. Jaiswal said: “Discussions are under way [on disinvestment in Coal India] and no decision was taken [at the meeting].”

On the BHEL stake sale issue, Mr. Patel said: “At this moment, we are certainly not inclined to sell off directly into the market… We are trying to see if there is some other way we can try to help [the] Finance Ministry bridge the Current Account Deficit.”

Though the Centre planned to garner Rs.40,000 crore in 2013-14 from minority stake sale in PSUs, so far it has managed only Rs.1,325 crore from sale in six PSUs.

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