India to privatize oil firm

NEW DELHI, Nov 21 (AsiaPulse) – India’s Disinvestment
Ministry says it has received in-principle clearance from the
Petroleum Ministry to proceed with the sale of government
equity in Oil India Ltd. “Correspondence was going on for last six months… We got
Petroleum Ministry in-principle approval yesterday for
disinvestment in OIL. We have to work out the details,”
Disinvestment Secretary Mohammad Haleem Khan said today.

The total shares that the government will sell in OIL is yet
to be decided, he said, adding, “the process of
inter-ministerial consultation is on.”

The government owns 78.43 per cent in OIL.

OIL had in September 2009 hit the market with an initial
public offer and had mopped up over Rs 4,900 crore (US$956.48
million).

As part of the IPO, the government offloaded its 10 per cent
equity, while company issued 11 per cent fresh equity.

Khan further said that the government has identified GAIL
(BSE:532155) as a possible candidate for stake sale.

He, however, did not mention if the OIL and GAIL issue would
be done in the current fiscal.

The government aims to raise Rs 40,000 crore through the
sale of stakes in state-run companies in the curr