“We are looking at divesting stake in Coal India next fiscal,” an official said, without specifying the quantum of stake dilution.
A planned stake sale in Coal India (CIL) in the current financial year had to be deferred after stiff opposition from the trade unions. The coal major had to make up for that by paying about Rs 19,000 crore as dividend to the exchequer.
The government, which holds a 90 per cent stake in CIL, initially sought to divest a 10 per cent stake but lowered it to 5 per cent, or 31.58 crore shares, on account of opposition from the unions.
At today’s closing share price of Rs 270.40, a 5 per cent stake sale in CIL would fetch the government more than Rs 8,500 crore.
In the interim budget 2014-15 presented in Parliament on February 17, the government estimated raising Rs 36,925 crore from PSU disinvestment.
Receipts from dividend and disinvestment are essential for the government to rein in the fiscal deficit, which is targeted at 4.6 per cent of GDP this financial year.
For the current fiscal, the government scaled down the disinvestment target to Rs 16,027 crore from Rs 40,000 crore originally.