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'Another Stopgap Measure': Jyotiraditya Scindia Slams Cabinet's PSU Stake Sale Plans

Jyotiraditya Scindia slammed Centre's plan to sell large stakes in state-run companies saying those who opposed disinvestment earlier were now doing the same

Jyotiraditya Scindia

Madhya Pradesh deputy chief minister Jyotiraditya Scindia slammed the Centre's plan to sell large stakes in state-run companies, saying that those who opposed disinvestment earlier were now engaging in the same. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave 'in principle' approval for strategic disinvestment of equity shareholding in several government-owned companies. The Congress leader labelled the move as another "stopgap measure".

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Strategic disinvestment

The government has planned to sell stakes in companies like Minerals & Metals Trading Corporation Limited (MMTC) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) by 49.78% and 10.10% respectively. It will also be divesting 0.68% each in MECON and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), two Odisha State Government PSUs – Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd. (IPICOL) (12%) and Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) (20.47%) in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) to a strategic buyer, identified through a two-stage auction procedure. NINL is a Joint Venture company, in which MMTC, NMDC, BHEL, MECON, IPICOL and OMC are shareholders.

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Private sector investment

According to a government press release, the proposed strategic disinvestment of NINL would unlock resources to be used to "finance the social sector/developmental programmes of the government benefiting the public". The Centre also expects to rope in private players to bring in new management, technology and investment for the growth of the company. This will, according to the Centre, drive innovation which may generate more employment opportunities.

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