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No plan to divest stake in BSNL, Air India: Govt

New Delhi: Government today said it has no plan to divest its stake in ailing state-run telecom firm BSNL and national carrier Air India, which have been incurring huge losses.

“At this time, there is no proposal to disinvest BSNL and Air India,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Notably, both the firms have been running into losses for several years and their employees have been protesting against any move to privatise the firms.

Sinha was replying to a question on whether government plans to include public sector enterprises such as BSNL and Air India along with steel plants in the disinvestment list.

For the full fiscal 2015-16, the government hopes to garner Rs 69,500 crore through stake sale in PSUs. Of this, Rs 41,000 crore is estimated to come from minority stake sale in PSUs and the remaining Rs 28,500 crore from strategic stake sale.

“In order to attain the stiff disinvestment target of 2015-16, the government is making efforts to fast track the disinvestment approval process,” Sinha said.

He further informed the house that the disinvestment receipts fell short of target in the last three fiscal years.

In 2014-15, government garnered Rs 24,277 crore through disinvestment in SAIL and Coal India, which was short of the target of Rs 36,925 crore.

For 2013-14, it fell short of target at Rs 15,819 crore as against actual target of Rs 40,000 crore. In 2012-13, it stood at Rs 23,956 crore against Rs 30,000 crore.

“Actual disinvestment of CPSEs depends on market conditions and policy considerations,” Sinha said.

Besides, he said disinvestment in steel firm SAIL took place in 2014-15 and there is no proposal to further divest stake in the company in the current fiscal.

Also, disinvestment of 10 per cent equity in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) was part of the action plan of disinvestment for 2014-15, which however did not fructify in that year, he added.

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