New Delhi: A ministerial panel that was to meet today to decide on the roadmap for selling the government stake in oil major ONGC has been cancelled for the day.
The Empowered Group of Ministers (EoM) on ONGC disinvestment was scheduled to meet on 27 February to decide on timeline and pricing issues, an official said. However, the meeting has been cancelled because Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is head of the ministerial panel discussing the sale, is travelling and is not able to attend, said the source, who did not wish to be named.
No new date has been set for the meeting, the source said.
The ministerial panel approved a plan earlier this month to sell some of the government's shareholding in ONGC through a share auction but did not set any timeframe.
Earlier, the EGoM meeting headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was scheduled for February 24.
The panel, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is expected to decide on the base or reserve price for the auction of government stake in ONGC. A five percent share sale in ONGC is likely to fetch the central exchequer around Rs 12,000 crore.
Shares of ONGC were last trading at Rs 284.25 on the BSE. Earlier this month, the EGoM had decided to auction the government stake in ONGC. The ONGC stake sale would help the government move towards its ambitious target of Rs 40,000 crore disinvestment for the fiscal ending March 31.
Till date it has raised only Rs 1,145-crore from PFC disinvestment. Besides, state-owned NBCC too has filed draft papers with Sebi for an initial public offer (IPO) which could bring around Rs 250 crore. Recently market regulator Sebi allowed promoters to sell up to 10 percent stake using the auction window of stock exchanges.
Disinvestment Secretary Mohammad Haleem Khan had said that for all those companies in which CCEA has already cleared disinvestment through FPO mode, there is no necessity for fresh approvals for stake sale through auction mode.
Government, whose finances are under pressure, is looking at various options to meet its disinvestment target which has been hit due to adverse market situation.