Wednesday, Dec 24, 2003
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By Sushma Ramachandran
The sale is expected to yield about Rs. 12,366 crores and resolve the resource mobilisation problem faced in the current fiscal in the wake of the failure to achieve the disinvestment target for the year.
The decision to sell off Government equity in these two companies was taken here at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment (CCD) presided over by the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Later briefing newspersons, the Disinvestment Minister, Arun Shourie, said a committee had been constituted to review the sale of government shareholding in the two companies.
The committee will include the Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh, the Commerce and Industry Minister, Arun Jaitley, the Petroleum Minister, Ram Naik, and Mr. Shourie.
With government equity currently at 84 and 67 per cent respectively in ONGC and GAIL, the shareholding will come down to 74 and 57 per cent respectively ensuring that government control remains over these navaratna companies.
Mr. Shourie said the committee would review the issue of sale in the domestic market and in case the market was not picking up, the option of going to the international markets would also be considered. The sale will be carried out during the current fiscal.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, he said the market was buoyant and the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister wanted retail investors to share the buoyancy.
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