New Delhi: A day after the Centre announced its plans to divest its majority stake in BPCL, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thurs-day reiterated his earlier statement that the government has no business to be in business, hinting that other public sector oil companies, including Indian Oil Corporation, may not be allowed to bid for buying the government stake in BPCL.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCA) had on Wednesday cleared to sell the government’s entire 53.29 per cent stake in the country’s second-largest state refiner along with other four PSUs, including country’s largest shipping company Shipping Corporation of India. The government expects to garner Rs 90,000 crore from the BPCL sale.
At the current trading price of BPCL, the government’s stake is valued at a shade less than Rs 62,000 crore. On top of this, the acquirer will have to make an open offer to buy an additional 26 per cent stake from minority shareholders for about Rs 30,000 crore.
“Since 2014, we have a clear vision that the government has no business to be in business,” Pradhan told reporters, adding that nitty-gritty and details of the disinvestment process will have to be worked out.
BPCL will give buyers ready access to 14 per cent of India’s oil refining capacity and about one-fourth of the fuel-marketing infrastructure in the world’s fastest-growing energy market. It, however, will be sold after carving out Numaligarh Refinery from its portfolio and given to a pubic sector unit.
“Numaligarh refinery was set up as per Assam Accord and it will remain a public sector unit. Assam Chief Minister had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retain public sector character of Numaligarh Refinery and that has been accepted,” Pradhan said....