Budget 2018: In the Union Budget 2018 presented in Parliament today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government will merge the three public sector general insurance companies, to create a single insurance behemoth prior to its listing. “Process of acquisition of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation by the ONGC has been successfully completed. Three public sector general insurance companies National Insurance Company Ltd., United India Assurance Company Limited and Oriental India Insurance Company Limited will be merged into a single insurance entity and will be subsequently listed,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
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In mid-January-17, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved listing of five state-owned general insurance companies and reducing the government’s stake in them from 100% to 75%. New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance, United India Insurance and General Insurance Corporation of India, or GIC Re, were approved five companies that will list on stock exchanges. Notably, General Insurance Corporation of India listed on the bourses in November-17, helping to fill the government’s coffers by Rs 9,804 crore, while the listing of New India Assurance provided Rs 9,096 crore to the government.
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There are nearly three-dozen public sector units that are likely to be listed in the fiscal year 2018-19. The government is finalising disinvestment of six firms including Air India and Dredging Corporation of India, while many others including railway PSUs such as IRCTC and IRCON Ltd, Mishra Dhatu Nigam and Mazagon Dock Ltd will hit the markets with their initial and further public offering, the Hindu Business Line reported.
In the Union Budget 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a modest increase in disinvestment target to Rs 80,000 crore for FY 18-19. Earlier, it was expected that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would set a steeper disinvestment target for FY19. India’s disinvestment target for the year 2017-18 was Rs 72,500 crore, of which, as on January 22, Rs 55,560.73 crore has been achieved, and with ONGC-HPCL deal Rs 36,915 crore, the government is not merely set to achieve the goal for the first time, but also surpass it by a wide margin.