Disinvestment secretary Ravi Mathur says as per the action plan for this financial year, the government will try to complete planned divestments before the end of the financial year. Companies like RCF, NALCO, MMTC and SAIL are in the pipeline for disinvestment under the action plan for this financial year. The government has so far raised Rs 21,500 crore via disinvestment.
Below is the edited transcript of his interview to CNBC-TV18.
Q: Do you think MMTC Ltd and Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers (RCF) will be done before the Union Budget?
A: As per the action plan that we have for this year, we will try to complete planned divestments before the end of the financial year.
No definite timeline can be given if disinvestment in RCF and MMTC will be done before or after Budget. However, RCF, NALCO, MMTC and SAIL are in the pipeline for disinvestment under the action plan for this financial year.
Q: There is talk that the government may want to push MMTC and RCF ahead of SAIL and NALCO and SAIL and NALCO might happen in March. Is there a sequence on how things might move from here or is it to do with perceptions of difficulty in doing the metal companies because of the global environment?
A: There is no sequence as such. We go for disinvestments once everything is in place, all road shows are over and all the approvals are in place. So we can't have a definite sequence.
Q: We understand that there are probably no more issues lined up for the month of February. Would that be accurate, would most of these issues come through in March if they do?
A: I can't give any definite timeline. The issues are lined up and we hope to complete them before March 31.
Q: There is some amount of excitement around some of the IPOs, issues like Nuclear Power Corporation, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, is that scheduled for FY14 and which part of FY14 would the government be keen on coming to the market with these IPOs rather than some of these offers for sale (OFSs) or follow-on issues?
A: We have approvals for IPOs in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. These cases will be taken up in due course of time.
Q: Any early sign of how much government paper you might look to sell in FY14 because big names like Coal India, NHPC, Indian Oil are doing the rounds. Would those be a part of the plan for the next fiscal?
A: The action plan for next fiscal is in the work out process, the details are being worked out and once it is approved we will share the action plan.
Q: Have you taken principle approval on Hindustan Zinc and BALCO whether it will be sold in the open market because that debate has been going on for sometime?
A: The cases of Hindustan Zinc and BALCO are not been dealt in disinvestment ministry, they are dealt by the ministry of mines.
Q: You have had a couple of successful issues including NTPC. At this point what do the total collection stand at through divestment in FY13 and is there a target that has already been set for FY14 in terms of collections from divestment?
In case of NTPC was subscribed 1.7 times. So far we have raised around Rs 21500 crore and we have couple of more transactions lined up before March 31, 2013. On completion of these transactions we shall be able to cross Rs 27,000 crore. For FY14, the action plan is being finalized and targets will be set out once it is approved at the appropriate level.
Q: Did you consider taking up issues like Indian Oil or NHPC ahead of SAIL and NALCO because SAIL and NALCO have been underperformers in the market and given the global metal environment it might be difficult to push that kind of paper with global investors?
A: I don't like to comment on the sequence of disinvestment but before the end of this financial year we will be able to do whatever is planned for 2012-13.
A: Disinvestment department does not deal with these issues.
Q: Some of the companies like MMTC have a much higher government holding than other PSUs do. Have you identified how much percentage in terms of stake the government is keen on offloading in its issues?
A: We will let you know once the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) approves the stake sale in MMTC.
Q: Is State Trading Corporation (STC) on the card at all or that is not in the consideration set in the near future?
A: I cannot comment whether STC is on cards but if it was included in this year's action plan it would have on cards.