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Shipping Corporation Of India’s Privatisation Plan Back On Track As Government Likely To Invite Financial Bids Next Month

SCI Mumbai vessel (Shipping Corporation of India)

Posted on April 12, 2023

The Centre is reportedly planning to invite financial bids for the privatisation of the state-run company Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) in May.

The move comes as the government looks to sell the company after years of delay due to regulatory hurdles.

In 2019, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government announced plans to privatise several state-run companies, including selling its stake in SCI, which was stalled due to regulatory delays.

SCI had to spin off its non-core assets before the government could sell its 63.75 per cent stake, which had hit a roadblock over the amount of funds to be transferred to the demerged entity.

SCI owns and operates bulk carriers and crude oil tankers, among others.

However, after receiving regulatory approval in late February, SCI successfully completed the spinoff last month.

The demerged entity, known as SCI Land Assets Ltd, will need to be listed before 23 April, and the government reportedly plans to do so soon.

The government aims to invite financial bids for SCI, which operates around one-third of India’s total tonnage, by mid-May, Reuters reported citing government officials.

The final decision on the issue will likely be taken on 14 April by a panel chaired by cabinet secretary.

The panel will reportedly also consider a proposal to invite initial bids for selling the government’s 31 per cent stake in Container Corporation of India Ltd, which has been delayed since 2020.


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