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FM asks industry to bid for PSUs, Vedanta may bid for BPCL

FM asks industry to bid for PSUs, Vedanta may bid for BPCL

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday invited industry to participate in the disinvestment of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) like BPCL, Concor and Shipping Corp, saying the country's macroeconomic fundamentals are very strong and industry should grow by participating in such areas.

Speaking at industry chamber Assocham's centenary celebrations here, she also said India's inflation is well under control.

"Disinvestment of CPSEs is happening and some of you may have to come forward to participate in them and offer a bid. You cant remain quiet. You look at prospects of growing your businesses by picking up some of these companies which are are being offered" she said.

"These are essentially good companies and you must be the first bidders," she added.

Sitharaman also said there has been impact on prices of seasonal vegetables like onions, but inflation has always remained below 4 per cent.

"There have been times when food inflation was in double digits in 2013-14. Even when onions played havoc it did not cross 4 per cent. Inflation has been kept under control and even our macroeconomic fundamentals like FDI and forex reserves are very strong," the Finance Minister said.

Soon after the Finanace Minister's call, Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal who was present at the event told media his company would definitely consider bidding for the CPSEs on offer.

" We will evaluate (for BPCL) if it makes sense where we can supply our oil, we should look at BPCL or any kind of asset that comes. When the EoI (expression of interest) comes, we will definitely look all our assets", she said.

At current share prices, the government's entire 53 per cent stake in BPCL could be worth Rs 60,000 crore. But the government may sell its equity in phases to a strategic partner. It is also looking at global oil giants like Saudi Aramco to take over BPCL.

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