For sale: SAIL, NBCC, fertiliser CPSEs on govt’s list for privatisation

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September 29, 2021 4:40 AM

Other CPSEs likely to be on the first list are Madras Fertilizers and National Fertilizers, an official source said.

Govt’s list for privatisationThe Centre’s 65% stake in primary steelmaker SAIL is worth about Rs 29,600 crore at the current market prices, while its 61.75% stake in NBCC is worth around Rs 5,200 crore.

Many large and medium-sized CPSEs, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and construction firm NBCC (India) are likely to feature on the initial list of firms for privatisation, as the government embarks on the path of privatising or closing down all CPSES in the ‘non-strategic sectors’ in a phased manner.

Other CPSEs likely to be on the first list are Madras Fertilizers and National Fertilizers, an official source said.

The Centre’s 65% stake in primary steelmaker SAIL is worth about Rs 29,600 crore at the current market prices, while its 61.75% stake in NBCC is worth around Rs 5,200 crore.

SAIL owns five integrated steel plants at Asansol, Bhilai, Bokaro Durgapur and Rourkela. It has also three special steel plants along with a ferro alloy plant. Thanks to a spike in global steel prices that reflects on the domestic market too, the company reported a net profit of Rs 3,850 crore in Q1FY22 compared with a loss of Rs 1,270 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. On Tuesday, the SAIL stock closed at Rs 110.35 on the BSE, up 1.05% from previous closing price.

NBCC, with a wide footprint in civil construction, residential & commercial projects including redevelopment of government colonies, reported 237% on-year increase in net profit at Rs 27 crore in Q1FY22.

The Supreme Court has appointed NBCC as the project management consultant to complete the various projects of Amrapali Group. NBCC’s acquisition of Jaypee Infratech (JIL) is sub-judice. NBCC share price closed at 46.85 on the BSE on Tuesday, down 1.37% from the previous closing price.

After the recent shifting of the department of public enterprises (DPE) from the ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises to the ministry of finance, the government has made DPE the nodal department for selection of CPSEs in the non-strategic sphere for privatisation or closure.

The Budget unveiled the ‘strategic-sector policy’ which entails that the government will have minimum presence in the four broad sectors while the remaining ones can be privatised or merged or closed. These four sectors are: atomic energy, space and defence; transport and telecommunications; power, petroleum, coal and other minerals; banking, insurance and financial services. There are about 150 CPSEs in the non-strategic sector.

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