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Centre lets FM-led ministerial panel fix CPSE sale price, timing

Centre lets FM-led ministerial panel fix CPSE sale price, timing

New Delhi: To fast-track strategic sale of CPSEs, the Cabinet Thursday allowed the Alternative Mechanism to decide on the timing, price and quantum of shares of a state-run company to be put on the block for outright sale.

"The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA ) has approved delegation of the following Alternative Mechanism in all the cases of strategic disinvestment of CPSEs where CCEA has given 'in-principle' approval for strategic disinvestment," an official statement said.

The Alternative Mechanism (AM) on strategic disinvestment was set up in 2017 and consists of the finance minister, the road transport and highways minister and the minister representing respective administrative department.

So far, the AM has decided on the terms and conditions of the sale from the stage of inviting of expressions of interest (EoIs) till inviting of financial bid. With Thursday's decision, the panel has been permitted to take decisions on final pricing of the transaction, quantum of shares to be sold and the selection of strategic partner or buyer.

"This will facilitate quick decision-making and obviate the need for multiple instances of approval by CCEA for the same CPSE," the statement said after the Cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As many as 35 central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) have already been lined up for strategic sale.

The companies that have been shortlisted for strategic sale include Pawan Hans, Air India, Air India subsidiary AIATSL, Dredging Corporation of India, BEML, Scooters India, Bharat Pumps Compressors, and Bhadrawati, Salem and Durgapur units of steel major SAIL. The other CPSEs for which approvals are in place for outright sale include Hindustan Fluorocarbon, Hindustan Newsprint, HLL Life Care, Central Electronics, Bridge & Roof India, Nagarnar Steel plant of NMDC and units of Cement Corporation of India and ITDC.

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