The government today approved sale of its minority stakes in five public sector firms -- Hindustan Copper, Oil India, RITES, MMTC and Nalco -- to raise up to Rs 15,000 crore.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has, however, not taken any decision on disinvestment of Neyveli Lignite, that was also on the agenda.
The government has approved the proposal to sell 10% stake in Oil India Ltd, 10% in RITES and another 9.59% disinvestment in Hindustan Copper Ltd.
Further, the CCEA also cleared the proposal of 12.15% stake sale of Nalco and 9.33% in MMTC through Offer for Sale (OFS) route.
However, commerce minister Anand Sharma said cabinet panel did not take up divestment in Neyveli Lignite.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram had last month asked officials to expedite the process of disinvestment so that state-owned companies could hit stock markets in time and help the government achieve the target of Rs 30,000 crore in the current fiscal.
Although five months have passed in the current fiscal, the government has not been able to come out with a single public issue.
Raising adequate funds from disinvestment was necessary to keep in check the fiscal deficit which is facing pressure due to rising food, fuel and fertiliser subsidy bills. The government earlier deferred the initial public offer (IPO) of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) due to weak stock market conditions.
The Rs 2,500-crore RINL issue was originally proposed to hit the markets in July.
Due to uncertain market conditions, the government in the last fiscal could raise only Rs 14,000 crore from disinvestment against the target of Rs 40,000 crore.
(With inputs from PTI)