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‘No call yet on quantum of LIC stake sale’

The Rs. 90,000-crore target factors in proceeds from LIC’s initial public offer and the sale of the government’s 47% residual stake in IDBI Bank, but doesn’t necessarily preclude more financial entities being added to the disinvestment queue during the coming year.

“In the LIC’s case, the quantum is difficult for us to say now because we have to listen to advisers, listen to LIC, look at the numbers. So it’s a bit early,” Mr. Pandey said.

“There could be legal hurdles to cross as well, such as the need for possible amendments to the LIC Act. 1956,” he added.

Asked whether the sovereign guarantee enjoyed by the LIC policyholders would persist after its listing, Ms. Sitharaman said: “We’ve only said it will be an IPO. We’ve not given the complete ownership to somebody.”

The expressions of interest for BPCL will “come very soon”, said Mr. Pandey, adding that the sale of three big companies — BPCL, CONCOR and Shipping Corporation of India — might be concluded by the first half of 2020-21.

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