Govt Pursuing 31 D Cases

New Delhi, July 26: | Updated: Jul 27 2002, 05:30am hrs
Minister of disinvestment, Arun Shourie, told the Lok Sabha on Friday that the Government was pursuing 31 cases of disinvestment presently which included undertakings like Air India, Indian Airlines, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), State Trading Corporation (STC), and remaining hotels of Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and Hotel Corporation of India (HCI).

Since January this year, Mr Shourie said, Rs 5114.28 crore had been realised from privatisation of IBP, VSNL, PPL, HZL, IPCL and some hotels of ITDC and HCI.

In addition, rights issue of Rs 400 crore was completed in Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) which was totally subscribed by Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC). SMC also paid Rs 1,000 crore as control premium to the government, he said

Defending the disinvestment policy while replying to a calling attention motion by BJP member Kirit Somaiya, the minister said, by selling a mere 1.02 per cent of government held equity, valued at Rs 885 crore, the government had received Rs 11,335 crore.

Market sales of minority shares of blue chip companies like IOC, ONGC, Gail, VSNL during 1991-97, he said, had received price/earnings ratios of 4.4 to 6 when these companies were monopolies in their fields. Through disinvestments to strategic partners, the government had secured price/earnings ratios of 11 to 89, Mr Shourie said.

Even at this early stage, he said, benefits of strategic disinvestments were becoming evident citing examples of Modern Foods where sales had doubled and Paradeep Phosphates where production had tripled adding that earnings of workers had also gone up. The new Balco and IPCL managements, he said, had announced expansion plans respectively costing Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 1,000 crore.

His ministry, Mr Shourie said, had prepared time schedules for completion of disinvestment cases already cleared by the government and these were being submitted to it for approval.

About Maruti, he said, in the second phase, the government would sell its existing shares in the company. Suzuki Motors, had agreed to underwrite the first tranche of about 36 lakh of these shares at Rs 2,300 per share and also provide for the confort of a put option to the government, he said.

About HPCL and BPCL, Mr Shourie said, the government had decided in February this year in principle to disinvest in these two companies. The precise percentage to be disinvested and some other issues were to determined amongst ministries of disinvestment, petroleum and natural gas and finance, he said.