'May fall short of stake sale target'

Feb 01 2013, 09:58 IST
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The Centre’s fiscal deficit during the April-December period stood at Rs 4.04 lakh crore.  (Reuters) The Centre’s fiscal deficit during the April-December period stood at Rs 4.04 lakh crore. (Reuters)
SummaryFinance ministry conceded it may fall short of estimated target of Rs 30,000 cr from disinvestment.

In a challenge for the fisc, the finance ministry on Thursday conceded that it may fall short of the estimated target of Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestment proceeds during the current fiscal.

“Rs 30,000 crore disinvestment target may be difficult to reach. My calculation is Rs 25,000 or Rs 26,000 crore. We will try to cover Rs 27,000 crore,” disinvestment secretary Ravi Mathur said on Thursday.

The department of disinvestment has raised about Rs 6,900 crore from stake sales of in state owned NMDC Ltd and Hindustan Copper Ltd. On Friday, it is scheduled to auction 10 per cent stake in Oil India Ltd (OIL) that is likely to raise about Rs 3,065 crore.

The government has fixed the floor or the minimum offer price for OIL stake sale at Rs 510 a share, which is a discount of 5.41 per cent over Thursday’s market price of Rs 539.20. “We expect a good response (to the OIL issue). It (Rs 510) is at a good discount,” Mathur said.

The government is also planning to sell 9.5 per cent stake in NTPC Ltd and has already begun roadshows in five countries, including the US, the UK and Japan, for promoting the proposed Rs 13,000 crore issue. “NTPC roadshows are going on. As soon as roadshows are over we will fix a date for share sale,” Mathur said.

The DoD plans to divest stake in a host of bluechip PSUs in the current fiscal, including SAIL, NALCO and MMTC. The government has already identified 10 PSUs for divesting stake.

Fiscal deficit at 78.8% of target

The Centre’s fiscal deficit during the April-December period stood at Rs 4.04 lakh crore or 78.8 per cent of the Budget Estimate of Rs 5.14 lakh crore, according to data released by the Controller General of Accounts.

During the same period in the previous fiscal year, the deficit was 92.3 per cent of the target.

The improvement has been brought about by a strict tightening of the expenditure since September and some fruition of the efforts to arrest the fall in tax revenue growth.

The government is aiming to contain fiscal deficit at 5.3 per cent of the GDP during current fiscal, despite a difficult economic environment that has resulted in less than anticipated level of growth in tax and non-tax revenue.

The latest data signal the need for further aggressive measures to meet the revised target to reduce the fiscal deficit to 5.3% of the GDP, including a focussed push to disinvestment. FE

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