Coal India stake sale limited to 10 per cent: minister

The government will stick to 10 per cent stake sale in Coal India Ltd (CIL) and the decision to divest 25 per cent in listed state-run firms will not apply to CIL, minister for coal Sriprakash Jaiswal said today.

"The disinvestment in Coal India Ltd (CIL) will not be more than 10 per cent even if government decides on 25 per cent disinvestment in PSUs," the minister said, adding that any such decision will not apply to Coal India.

The union cabinet last week decided to divest 10 per cent out of the government's 100 per cent stake in Coal India Ltd.

CIL, the world's largest coal producer, is expected to launch its initial public offer in September.

The minister was clarifying on a recent government announcement that all listed companies should increase public holding to 25 per cent in a phased manner, but had later offered to amend the policy.

"When we got navratna status, there was a clause that minimum 10 per cent of CIL be divested and it should be listed on the bourse within three years. We do not want to lose the navratna tag," Jaiswal said justifying the 10 per cent peg.

"The IPO could be launched in September if market conditions are conducive for it," he said.
    
CIL, the world's largest coal producer, reported production of 431.5 million tonnes last fiscal. The company, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the country's total coal production, reported production of 531.5 million tonnes as of 31 March 2010.

The CIL stake sale is expected to rake in around Rs13,000 crore for the government. The government has targeted Rs40,000 crore from disinvestments this fiscal.