No Caveat From AG On Oil PSU Sale

New Delhi, January 21: | Updated: Jan 22 2003, 05:30am hrs
In his opinion to the government on disinvestment in Hindustan Petroleum Corpora-tion Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), attorney general Soli J Sorabjee has not put in any caveat. He informed the government on Monday that disinvestment in HPCL and BPCL does not require approval of Parliament.

However, disinvestment minister Arun Shourie remained tight-lipped about the nature of the AGs opinion. I have informed the Prime Minister about the AGs opinion. The AGs report was handed over to the Prime Minister at the Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday. The issue, however, was not discussed at the Cabinet meeting.

On persistent queries about the AGs opinion, Mr Shourie quoted former US President George Bush Srs famous slogan: Read my lips. Nothing could be read from the ministers lips but his demeanour was cheerful.

Official sources, while confirming that AG had cleared way for divestment in HPCL and BPCL, pointed out that he has not put in any caveat for the sale of the two public sector undertakings (PSUs).

Now, the issue will be taken up at the Cabinet committee on disinvestment (CCD) meeting in a fortnight, sources said, adding that the CCD meeting will be held after deputy Prime Minister LK Advani returns from his foreign tour.