BPCL Disinvestment Approved by Cabinet, State-Owned Petroleum Corporation to be Privatised: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman addressing the press | (Photo Credits: ANI)

New Delhi, November 20: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the strategic disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) -- the largest state-owned oil and gas company. The Union Cabinet, in its meeting held today, decided to pave the way for the privatisation of BPCL, announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Unions of Air India Meet in Mumbai to Oppose Privatisation.

The Numaligarh Refinery, in which the BPCL has 61 percent stake, would be retained by the Government of India. Sitharaman categorically stated that the disinvestment decision will apply only to the entity of BPCL excluding the key refinery.

In the BPCL, the government's share is 53.29 percent. With the Centre deciding to privatise the management of the oil and gas company, the current shareholding pattern would be rejigged. The Government of India would be retaining only a fraction of its current stakes.

Apart from Bharat Petroleum, the Centre has also decided to disinvest four other public-sector undertakings - THDC India, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO)Shipping Corp of India (SCI) and Container Corp of India.

Update by ANI

"Cabinet has approved strategic disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, of Government of India share holding of 53.29 percent along with transfer of certain management control. This is excluding BPCL's equity share holding of 61 percent stake in Numaligarh Refinery," Sitharaman said.

"Numaligarh Refinery will be with the government only. It shall not go in for disinvestment. BPCL minus Numaligarh Refinery will go for disinvestment," the Finance Minister further added.

Ahead of the Cabinet decision approving BPCL divestment, the Opposition had appealed the Narendra Modi government against privatising the entity. "Our organisations are our pride. These are our 'golden birds'," tweeted Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, referring to the government's intent to privatise national flyer Air India and the BPCL.