Buoyed by the proposed public offerings in six companies, including Oil and Natural Gas Corp and Gas Authority of India Ltd, the government on Tuesday set an ambitious target of mobilising Rs 16,000 crore (Rs 160 billion) through divestment of public sector undertakings during 2004-05 as against the expected proceeds of Rs 14,500 crore (Rs 145 billion) in the current fiscal.
Presenting the Interim Budget for 2004-05, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh said the target of Rs 13,200 crore (Rs 132 billion) for the current fiscal would be surpassed by Rs 1,300 crore (Rs 13 billion).
"Divestment receipts at Rs 14,500 crore (Rs 145 billion) are also higher than the budget estimate of Rs 13,200 crore," he said while tabling the Interim Budget in Parliament.
Although divestment realisation stood at just over Rs 1,300 crore till November 2003, six public offerings including the sale of 10 per cent equity each in prized oil PSUs -- ONGC and Gail -- through the book building route, as also residual stakes in already privatised companies of IPCL, IBP and CMC are slated to hit the market in February and March.
In addition, the government would offload in the market its 20 per cent stake in Dredging Corporation.
The timing for the proposed IPOs has already been firmed up and IPCL and CMC public offerings are scheduled to hit the market between February 16 and February 24.
This would be followed by public placement of shares in Dreging Corporation and IBP between February 26 and March 2.The public offering in ONGC is expected to take place between March 3 and March 12 and in the case of Gail it would be between March 13 and March 19.