Government plans more stake sales in current fiscal

Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:38pm IST

Labourers work inside a steel factory on the outskirts of Agartala, capital of Tripura, April 9, 2009. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey/Files

Labourers work inside a steel factory on the outskirts of Agartala, capital of Tripura, April 9, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jayanta Dey/Files

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REUTERS - The government plans to divest some of its stake in four more state companies including Steel Authority of India Ltd(SAIL.NS) and National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALU.NS) by the end of next month, a junior finance minister said on Friday.

The government also expects to complete the stake sale in state trading firm MMTC Ltd (MMTC.NS) and Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers Ltd (RSTC.NS) in this fiscal year that ends on March 31, S.S. Palanimanickam, told parliament in a statement.

New Delhi will divest 10.82 percent of its stake in Steel Authority of India, 12.15 percent in National Aluminium, 12.5 percent in Rashtriya Chemicals and 9.33 percent in MMTC through auction of shares, the minister said.

India plans to raise about $880 million next month cutting its stakes in Steel Authority and National Aluminium, sources told Reuters on Thursday, a move that will help the government tackle the budget deficit.

Asset sales are a key part of the government's plan to cut the deficit to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product for this fiscal year, from 5.8 percent in 2011/12, to avoid a credit downgrade.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in MUMBAI; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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