Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the government is working on a revised mechanism to facilitate listing of central Public Sector Enterprises in a time-bound manner. “Listing of PSUs will increase accountability,” Jaitley said while presenting the Union Budget 2017.
He further said the government is looking to list railway PSUs IRCTC, IRFC and IRCON on stock exchanges.Earlier this month, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had said that Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), one of the largest e-portals in India, would start online selling of hand-made products procured from rural women. He had added that IRCTC could become as huge as the e-commerce giant Amazon.
Indian government has undertaken strategic sale of stake in profitable PSUs to help boost up state revenue and bridge the fiscal deficit, but has repeatedly fallen short of its disinvestment targets in the past. It has a target to earn Rs 56,500 crore by divesting its stake in public sector undertakings in the current financial year 2016-17, and has already garnered about Rs 30,000 crore so far this fiscal through share sale and share buyback by the companies.
Earlier last month, the government approved listing of five state-run general insurance companies, clearing way for the government to further accelerate its plans to raise money through disinvestment of equity stakes in PSUs.
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The government holds entire 100% stake in all the five state-run general insurance companies, namely, New India Assurance Company, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company, United India Insurance Company and a re-insurance firm General Insurance Corp.
Finance Minsiter Arun Jaitley had said the government holding in these five companies will gradually fall to 75% post listing. This is in line with India’s listing requirements as mandated by the regulator.
The listing may include both, issuing fresh shares with the proceeds going to the companies itself, and offer for sale of existing shares with the proceeds going to the seller – the government.