New Delhi, Dec 31: The government is confident of wrapping up at least three strategic disinvestments in the current fiscal year, an official has said, asserting that it will help send a signal about the Centre’s willingness to move ahead with such share sales in state-run firms.
The government hopes that the strategic sale in helicopter services firm Pawan Hans will sail through smoothly as it has received “substantial interest”. The government holds 51% in Pawan Hans, which has a fleet of 46 helicopters and the rest is held by ONGC. Strategic sale refers to transfer of management control and ownership.
The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government successfully experimented with the policy of strategic disinvestment during its tenure and managed to privatise a string of firms, including some staterun hotels.
The Narendra Modi government had vowed to pursue an aggressive policy of strategic disinvestment but has so far shied away from taking any big steps on this front. Government think tank NITI Aayog has recommended strategic sales for a number of state-run firms, but progress has been limited. The government has identified about a dozen firms for outright sale.
The other firm where the government is hoping to get the sale through is Bridge and Roof Corporation of India, a construction company set up in 1920. While interest from investors has been lukewarm, the Centre is hoping the sale to go through.
The third strategic disinvestment, which is expected to be completed this year, is that of Bharat Pumps and Compressors, a PSU under the ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises.