‘Air India, BPCL, Concor Divestments Unlikely this Fiscal’

Work on all these companies is on and the process is facing delays due to "surprises" encountered once the wheels have begun moving, the official from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam) said.

‘Air India, BPCL, Concor Divestments Unlikely this Fiscal’

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In what can potentially hurt the fiscal math for the ongoing fiscal, a senior government official said strategic divestments in Air India, BPCL and Container Corporation are “unlikely” to be completed in FY20.

Work on all these companies is on and the process is facing delays due to “surprises” encountered once the wheels have begun moving, the official from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam) said.

The ministry has budgeted to garner Rs 1.05 lakh crore from divestments during the fiscal. The government has already breached the budgeted fiscal deficit gap and the extent of the gap stands at 115% with four months to go. The official declined to comment on the impact of such events on the fiscal math.

When asked if the strategic divestment in the Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) — which can alone fetch the government over Rs 60,000 crore if it were to sell its entire 53% stake — will be completed this fiscal, the official said, “unlikely”.

“We are not saying that for ourselves and our timelines are such that it should happen. But we know that the process throws up surprises,” the official said.

Similarly, on Container Corporation (Concor) and Air India as well, the official said that the sales will not go through in the current fiscal ending March 31.

The official said the government is preparing the financial statements and getting the data room ready for the sales, suggesting that such aspects take time.

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