statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 21 JUNE: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved five per cent divestment in Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) to bring back Rs 466 crore to the national exchequer.
The Department of Disinvestment (DoD) had moved the Cabinet seeking to sell over 7.8 crore shares, or five per cent, through an offer for sale (OFS) route in the Tamil Nadu-based coal major.
With the divestment, the government’s holding in the company will come down to 88.56 per cent.
Earlier this month, the CCEA had postponed a decision on the issue, apparently after Tamil Nadu chief minister Miss J Jayalalithaa had written to the Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh opposing the stake sale.
Conveying the CCEA decision to the media, finance minister Mr P Chidambaram said the divestment was “absolutely necessary”.
“It is a Navaratna company and its public sector character does not change with this stake sale,” he said.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has set an August 2013 deadline for all listed public sector units to have a minimum 10 per cent public holding. Mr Chidambaram also said the Prime Minister had replied in detail to Miss Jayalalithaa about “why it is absolutely necessary” to sell the stake.