The Centre is likely to sell 28 per cent of its stake in BEML Ltd through strategic disinvestment and retain 26 per cent after the dilution of its shareholding in the public sector undertaking, a senior company official said. The government currently holds 54.03 per cent stake in the diversified engineering company. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in October, 2016 had given an in-principal approval for strategic disinvestment of 26 per cent equity shares in BEML Ltd.
“The government will divest 28 per cent of its stake in the company through strategic disinvestment and there is no plan to demerge the business verticals,” a senior company official told PTI. The Centre has already “initiated preparatory work” for the disinvestment, he said. BEML, a mining equipment maker, has diversified into manufacturing of rail coaches and defence production that already accounts for almost half of its current topline, the official said.
“There are private sector players who are into diversified engineering including defence but the number of such large corporate is not many,” he said. The government has set an all-time high disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh crore, up from Rs 90,000 crore projected in the Interim Budget 2019-20 in February. In 2018-19, the Centre raised Rs 84,972 crore from CPSE disinvestment, while in 2017-18, the figure was Rs 1, 00,056 crore.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has recently approved strategic disinvestment of its equity shares in five PSUs – BPCL, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation.