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CBI has started an inquiry against Sterlite Industries Chairman Anil Agarwal to probe alleged irregularities in the disinvestment of Hindustan Zinc Ltd on the basis of "oral information" provided by a complainant, Lok Sabha was informed today.
In a written reply, Minister of State for Finance, JD Saleem, said CBI has registered a preliminary inquiry related to the disinvestment of the company between 1997 and 2003, during NDA regime.
"The Jodhpur unit of CBI on November 06, 2013, registered a preliminary inquiry on the basis of oral information from the complainant in connection with the offence of 'gross misconduct' by unknown officers/officials of (1) Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Udaipur, (2) Ministry of Mines... (3) Ministry of Disinvestment and, (4) Anil Agarwal, Chairman, M/s Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd and Director, M/s Sterlite Opportunities and Ventures Ltd, Mumbai, relating to disinvestment of Hindustan Zinc Ltd during the period from 1997 to 2003," Saleem said.
The current policy of the government envisages that while pursuing disinvestment, it has to retain majority holding of at least 51 per cent shares and continue to be in control of the management of Public Sector Undertakings, he added.
"The process of disinvestment is elaborate as a number of regulatory requirements are fulfilled... It is undertaken strictly as per SEBI guidelines," he said.
Broadly, the methods for disinvestment of PSUs are Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), Follow on Public Offerings (FPOs) and Offer for Sale of shares by promoters through Stock Exchange Mechanism (OFS), he added.