Disinvestment - Indian style

Vol 4, PW 15 (30 Aug 00) News in Brief

In a statement likely to be criticised by foreign multinationals, disinvestment minister Arun Shourie has said Indian companies will be given preference during the sale of the governments stake in oil companies.

"While disinvesting oil companies and airlines, the government would give first preference to Indian bidders as we would like to retain Indian majority in these units," Shourie told India's state-run Doordarshan television on 20th August. Shourie said the government would decide on a 'case-by-case' basis offers to acquire a majority stake in a government-owned company.

He added that market conditions "were not favourable" to disinvestment at the present time.