The central government is going to sell stakes in three other state-owned companies after BPCL, the country’s second largest oil company. The government has invited bids for this. The companies for which bids have been called include Indian Railways’ company Concor.
During this financial year, three government companies – Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), NEEPCO and THDC India – have sought bids from consultants to sell their majority stake. Earlier this month, the cabinet gave permission to sell 30 per cent stake in Concor. The government currently holds a 54.80 per cent stake in the company and will not have control over the company by selling the stake. Apart from this, the cabinet had also approved the sale of power companies THDC India and NEEPCO to NTPC.
Privatization is the priority of the government
Privatization is the biggest priority of the government. This is the reason why the government plans to reduce its stake in selected public sector companies (PSUs) to less than 51 per cent. To reduce their stake in PSU companies to below 51 per cent, laws will have to be amended and ensure that These companies should be outside the purview of the Central Vigilance Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The official said that the cabinet had earlier decided to hold at least 51 per cent stake in PSU companies and now it is up to the cabinet to take the stake below this level. He said, ‘The government is preparing a proposal / plan to reduce the stake in selected public sector central undertakings (CPSEs) to below 51 per cent.’ The official said that this is possible but amended section 241 of the Companies Act for this will be needed.
He said that privatization is the government’s “top priority” for the next three-four years. He said, “We have full support from the Prime Minister. With this support I am 100% confident that whatever is worth selling will be sold and will be tried for what is not worth selling.’