Central Government to offload entire stake in three PSUs

New Delhi, Jan 14: The Centre is preparing to get out of three state-owned companies — National Project Construction Corp, Project and Development India and Pawan Hans — as it ramps up its privatisation drive through strategic sale.

The government has 100 per cent in NPCC and PDI, and owns a 51 per cent stake in Pawan Hans, with the rest belonging to energy major ONGC Ltd. All the three are unlisted.

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management of the finance ministry has issued advertisements and requests for proposals to hire legal and financial advisors for the strategic sales.

“Work on valuation of these three PSUs has begun. Once that is done and the advisors are in place, Cabinet approval will be sought,” a senior government official said.

How much the exchequer will earn from the sale of these PSUs depends on the valuation. The advisors will help the Centre to choose prospective buyers.

In Pawan Hans’ case, the government’s stake might be sold to ONGC if the latter showed interest, officials said. Officials declined to say when the sales will be completed.

The current year’s Budgeted Estimate for disinvestment is Rs 56,500 crore, of which Rs 36,000 crore is expected to come from minority stake sales and buybacks, and Rs 20,500 crore from strategic sales in loss-making and profitable PSUs.

So far, divestment of nearly Rs 30,000 crore has been announced, including the second tranche of the CPSE exchange traded fund. The proceeds have hit the highest clocked up in a year. Officials say that since the Centre will exceed its Budgeted tax revenue targets for the year because voluntary disclosure has increased after demonetisation, the DIPAM may not be required to meet the target.