NEW DELHI Indian aluminium company NALCO's plan to buy back up to 32.5 billion rupees ($483 million) of government shares will be delayed to the next fiscal year because of procedural delays, a government official said Tuesday.
"Buy-backs are a long process; you need to complete four to five important procedures," Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar told Reuters.
The government will miss its divestment target in the 2015/16, for the sixth year in a row, as weak commodity prices dented demand for shares of NALCO and other state-controlled companies such as Coal India.
A last-ditch effort to make these companies repurchase shares will only yield results in 2016/17, said Kumar.
The government's target to sell shares in public companies has been lowered 17.5 percent to 565 billion rupees for the next fiscal year, the government said in its budget on Feb. 29.
($1 = 67.2975 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
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