Government to sell remaining 10 per cent stake in Maruti

Mumbai: The government proposes to offload its remaining stake in Maruti Udyog Ltd. "We have offered to the finance ministry to sell 10.24-per cent stake that the government has in Maruti and now it is up to them to take the call," heavy industries minister Sontosh Mohan Dev said.

Based on current market price of company's scrip, the government should raise over Rs2,500 crore from the stake sale.

Last year the government had sold eight per cent shares in Maruti to public sector financial institutions for about Rs1,567 crore and had set itself a deadline of 2006 for completely exiting the company.

The cabinet will take a final decision on divesting the remaining stake in Maruti. Following the cabinet approval, an inter-ministerial group would discuss the modalities of divestment.

Maruti is now 54.2 per cent owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor. With a 10.24 per cent stake the government has also has no representation on the company's board.

Dev also said the prime minister has agreed in principle to release Rs138 crore for liquidating the salaries and other statutory dues of PSUs under the ministry of heavy industries. This is part of the Rs350 crore package for all the PSUs, he said.