New Delhi: The government’s strategic disinvestment plan for the current fiscal year seems to have hit an air pocket even before takeoff. After poor investor appetite forced extension of the deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest (EoI) for public sector chopper operator Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd (PHHL) again, the government is now considering revision of the strategic sale of special steel producing units of the Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) due to poor response.
Government sources said that closure may be considered for the strategic sale of SAIL’s Alloy Steel Plant at Durgapur in West Bengal if the third EoI also failed to get any response from investors. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in a review, has told the disinvestment department DIPAM to float EoI for Durgapur unit once again, after reviewing the existing terms and conditions and if it is not successful, it may be considered for closure.
The first EoI for the Durgapur unit came around October 2016 when no bidders were found eligible. The second EoI has come early this month after the last date of submission was extended to get a better response from investors.
As part of its drive to push the strategic disinvestment plan this fiscal, the government was looking to sell 100 per cent stake in three special steel producing units of SAIL which includes - Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Plant (Bhadravati, Karnataka), Salem Steel Plant (Tamil Nadu), and Alloy Steel Plant (Durgapur), West Bengal). Sources said that the PMO had given its approval to the sale and Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) had started the process of appointment of transaction advisors to conclude the deal quickly. (IANS)