Govt to sell-off Maruti stake

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Following the governmentÂ’s announcement last year that it would completely exit IndiaÂ’s leading car manufacturer Maruti, Heavy industries minister Sontosh Mohan Dev on Monday told reporters that the process of selling all its holding in Maruti Udyog Limited had already been initiated.

"We have offered to the Finance Ministry to sell 10.24 percent stake that the government has in Maruti. Now it is up to them to take the call," said Dev. The government stake in the company is held by Ministry of Heavy Industry.

Following last yearÂ’s sell-off of 8% holding in the Maruti, the governmentÂ’s stake now stands at 10.27%. Based on current market price of company's scrip on the stock exchanges, the government is likely to raise over $500 million.

Last yearÂ’s sell-off had fetched the government $356 million. Keeping in mind that disinvestments in all public sector units is off for the time being, sale of its stake in Maruti will give a much-needed fillip to the governmentÂ’s resource pool.

Dev said the government would pump in additional capital in tractor unit of HMT, which has started making profits.

He said for several of the PSUs had been roped in to for the revival of loss-making units, while stating that with this package the total assistance given by the government to pay the arrears of workers of loss-making PSUs in last two years has crossed $244 million.

While Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and Engineers India Limited will work towards reviving Bharat Heavy Plates and Vessels (BHPV), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and BHEL will play the role of rescuer of Bharat Pumps and Compressors Limited (BPCL).

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