The government has reportedly achieved the revised divestment of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) target of Rs 32,000 crores for the financial year 2021 in the pandemic year when the initial target was set at Rs 2.1 trillion.
A Mint report stated that the government has achieved this feat through offers for sale (OFS), buybacks and three initial public offerings (IPOs). The last divestment of the year was the 15% stake sale in Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd via an OFS that brought ₹543 crores, bringing down the stake at 75,68 percent.
Reportedly, the stake sale in Tata Communications Ltd (TCL) was the biggest one FY21 fetching Rs 8,847 crores. The government sold its entire stake of 26.12 percent in TCL. “The company became big. The stock price has gone up four times within a year. So, we got tremendous amount of value from exit from the company," a finance ministry official told the publication under condition of anonymity.
Following the TCL stake sale, the government exited from Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), a PSU privatised in 2002 when the government sold 25 percent stake and handed over the management control to Panatone Finvest Ltd. VSNL was renamed as TCL following the divestment.
Due to the pandemic, the divestment process in the first five months of FY21 was completely stalled due to which the target was revised to Rs 32,000 crores.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.“We have not done disinvestment indiscriminately in FY21. We have stuck to whatever we promised to the market. We didn’t sell stocks through exchange-traded funds. We did three IPOs, RailTel Corp. of India Ltd, Indian Railway Finance Corp., and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, all of which were pending since 2017. It is a record as far as bringing new stocks to the market is concerned, that too in a covid year," the official said.