Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Govt confident of privatising Air India, BPCL by first half of 2021-22 — divestment secretary

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is hopeful of privatising national carrier Air India and oil marketing firm Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) by the first half of 2021-22.

However, the initial public offering (IPO) of India’s largest insurance company Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is likely to take place only after October 2021 as the government prepares the groundwork for a successful listing, said Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management in the Finance Ministry.

In an interview with ThePrint a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the government’s intent to privatise majority of the state-owned companies, Pandey said the privatisation policy will be implemented over the next few years.

He pointed out how the shift of management control to private hands is a big structural change from the previous attempts.

“It is a big policy shift where we are saying that the government shouldn’t be in business and these are the four sectors where we will have bare minimum presence. The rest of it will be privatised, or maybe consolidated or closed. But privatisation is the first option. And in non-strategic sectors, we will exit,” he said, adding that this will mean that there will be many state-owned firms that will be lined up for privatisation in the next few years.

03/02/21 Remya Nair/Print

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