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Friday, September 28, 2001

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VSNL disinvestment by year-end

MUMBAI, SEPT. 27. The public sector Videsh Sanchar Nigam (VSNL) expects the disinvesment process to be completed by the end of the current year even as it plans to invest Rs. 2,000 crores in infrastructure in financial year 2002, its chairman and managing director, Mr. S. K. Gupta, said today.

The bidders want guidelines on international long distance (ILD) to be known to them before submitting the price bids for the disinvestment, Mr. Gupta told shareholders at the annual general meeting here.

``According to present indications, we expect the divestment to happen by the end of current year", he said. Earlier it was to be divested by October 2001.

The Central Government holds 52.97 per cent stake in VSNL, of which 25 per cent would go to a strategic partner with management right. The Tatas and BPL-Sterling are among the bidders.

Mr. Gupta said the first round of due diligence was completed and the second one has begun as the bidders wanted some more information.

About the additional compensation to be considered by the government, he said after the monopoly was terminated, they would look at the company's performance and see what VSNL had lost. Accordingly it would pay the compensation, if necessary, when a detailed review is undertaken, he added.

- PTI

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