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Market swings force rethink on disinvestment

The Union government is scaling down its big-ticket disinvestment plan after Coal India Ltd. (CIL) share price crashed by Rs. 18 within minutes on the stock exchange earlier this month as news came out that the Centre could conduct disinvestment in the public sector unit during February.   | Photo Credit: Ritu_Raj_Konwar - Ritu Raj Konwar

The Union government is scaling down its big-ticket disinvestment plan after Coal India Ltd. (CIL) share price crashed by Rs. 18 within minutes on the stock exchange earlier this month as news came out that the Centre could conduct disinvestment in the public sector unit in February.

The disinvestment target of Rs. 52,000 crore for the current financial year is being scaled down because of the volatility in the share price of PSUs, a top Finance Ministry source told The Hindu.

“Even at the time when the target was set, the Department of Disinvestment had said it was not achievable,” the source said.

Strike threat from PSU staff is another reason the government wants to go slow on disinvestment.

Coal India trade unions brought up the volatility in its stock price in talks with the government, saying there was the risk of the State’s shares getting sold for a song, the source said.

“The issue really is that the PSUs tend to be overstaffed and any expansion in the equity base of these companies brings greater accountability for workers,” the source said.

Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told The Hindu that one of the assurances the government had given to the unions to end their strike was that Coal India would not be privatised.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 1:43:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coal-india-limited-disinvestment-market-swings-force-rethink-on-disinvestment/article6808964.ece

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