The government had earlier proposed to raise Rs 1.05 lakh crore from disinvestment during 2019-20. However, in the budget presented earlier this month, it reduced the divestment target to Rs 65,000 crore.
The government is keen to sell its stake in THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) to state-owned NTPC in the current fiscal, according to a source. The acquisition is expected to fetch around Rs 10,000 crore to the exchequer. “The government is keen to complete the transaction whereby the NTPC would acquire government’s stake in THDCIL (THDC India Ltd) and NEEPCO this fiscal only for meeting its revised disinvestment target of Rs 65,000 crore for the 2019-20,” the source said. The government had earlier proposed to raise Rs 1.05 lakh crore from disinvestment during 2019-20. However, in the budget presented earlier this month, it reduced the divestment target to Rs 65,000 crore.
The government has garnered Rs 18,345.06 crore from divestments in public sector undertaking so far, as per DIPAM portal. “The government would leave no stone unturned for concluding the deal this fiscal itself. Now it is necessary to meet the disinvestment target. “This will not happen first time. Last year also, Power Finance Corporation had concluded the deal to acquire entire government stake in REC Ltd for Rs 14,500 crore on March 28 , 2019,” the source said. The transaction had helped the government meet its disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore for 2018-19.
NTPC had engaged SBI Capital for evaluation of the deal. The Department of Disinvestment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) had engaged RBSA Advisors for evaluating NEEPCO, and Deloitte for THDCIL transactions. In November last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved a proposal of the finance ministry for divestment of central government’s stake in THDCIL and NEEPCO. Later, the NTPC board approved the acquisition deal on January 27, 2020.
The government’s shareholding of 74.23 per cent in THDCIL will be divested along with transfer of management control to the NTPC. Similarly, the government’s stake of 100 per cent in NEEPCO will be divested along with transfer of management control to the power giant. The Budget has pegged the NTPC’s capital investment a tad higher at Rs 21,000 crore for 2020-21 from Rs 20,000 crore budgeted for 2019-20.
According to the company’s annual report, NEEPCO’s net worth as on March 31, 2019 was Rs 6,301.29 crore. The net worth of THDCIL was Rs 9,280.78 crore as on March 31, 2019. According to NEEPCO’s website, the company operates seven hydro, one solar and three thermal power stations with a combined installed capacity of 1,457 MW.NEEPCO also has one 600 MW hydro power project under development. It is scheduled for commissioning in the current fiscal. THDCIL’s total installed power generation capacity is 1,513 MW. It has two hydro power generating stations — Tehri (4X250 MW) and Koteshwar (4X100 MW) and two operational wind power plants in Gujarat — one at Patan (25X2 MW) and another at Devbhumi Dwarka (30X2.1 MW)