After the initial public offering of insurer Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), many entities such as Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), Pawan Hans, IDBI Bank, SCI, etc. are ready to be privatized and the process is underway to finalize the transaction of these public sector companies. Dispelling the fog surrounding the deals, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Assets Management (DIPAM), speaking exclusively to Business Today, said there is a possibility that the government will invite express interest (EOI) for companies like CONCOR and IDBI this month.
“The privatization of CONCOR depends on the land policy on which the railways are working very actively. Especially from the Gati Shakti exercise, they opt for broader policy change. As part of this broader policy shift, I hope clarity from CONCOR will come. [And] until and unless clarity is given to CONCOR, the transaction cannot proceed. It is possible that in about a month we will invite the EOI for the privatization of CONCOR,” Pandey said.
The government has given the green light to sell 30.8 percent of its 54.8 percent stake in CONCOR and management control to strategic buyers. Likewise, highlighting the progress of the privatization of IDBI Bank, Pandey pointed out that in about a month, the government will also invite the EOI for the privatization of IDBI Bank.
“We are currently involved in road shows and we will also do some physical road shows. In LIC IPO, we didn’t have the time or resources to do physical road shows. I think this month we will be ready to invite EOIs for the privatization of the IDBI bank [as well]“said Pandey.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in May 2022 approved “in principle” the strategic divestment and the transfer of management control in IDBI Bank. For divestment, amendments to the IDBI Bank law have been made through the Finance Law 2021 and advisors have also been appointed.
The government has set the divestment target at Rs 65,000 crore in the Union budget of 2022-2023, which is far below the previous year’s divestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore. According to Pandey, so far the government has received Rs. 24,046.40 crore which includes the proceeds of Rs 20,560 crore from LIC’s IPO.