Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel has been inducted in a ministerial panel that decides the price for sale of government stake in public sector undertakings.
Sources said orders for inclusion of Patel, who is also the Public Enterprises Minister, in the EGOM were issued few weeks back.
With the inclusion of Patel, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) now comprises Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Minister of the concerned administrative ministry of the PSU being divested.
The government has already lined up a host of companies for divesting stake in the current fiscal to achieve the Rs 30,000 crore target.
The government has already initiated the process of disinvestment of 10 per cent of its stake in NMDC, 9.3 percent in MMTC and 9.5 per cent in NTPC. Besides, the Cabinet has also okayed disinvestment of 12.1 per cent in Nalco.
So far this fiscal, the government disinvested 10 per cent of NBCC and 5.58 per cent of Hindustan Copper (HCL) out of its shareholding and realised an amount of Rs 124.97 crore and Rs 807.02 crore respectively totalling to Rs 931.99 crore.
The government is banking on the disinvestment funds to narrow its fiscal deficit. The Centre's fiscal deficit has already touched 71.6 per cent of the Budget estimates or Rs 3.67 lakh crore in the April-October period.
The government had budgeted the fiscal deficit at 5.1 percent of GDP for the current fiscal. However, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that a 5.3 per cent fiscal deficit is doable in the current financial year.