Privatisation-Bound Pawan Hans  Receives Multiple Preliminary Bids
A helicopter service provided by Pawan Hans. (Source: Pawan Hans website)

Privatisation-Bound Pawan Hans Receives Multiple Preliminary Bids

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The government has received multiple preliminary bids for strategic sale of Pawan Hans, Divestment Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said on Thursday.

Thursday was the last date for putting bids for Pawan Hans, in which government owns 51% stake while Oil & Natural Gas Corp. holds the remaining 49%. ONGC has also decided to tender its share in the strategic sale process.

"Multiple expressions of interest have been received for privatisation of Pawan Hans Limited. The transaction will now move to the second stage," Pandey tweeted.

After multiple failed attempts, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management had in December invited bids for strategic sale, along with transfer of management control, of helicopter service provider Pawan Hans.

The date for bid submission was Jan. 19, which was later extended to Feb. 18.

In 2018, the government had invited bids to sell 51% in Pawan Hans. However, the process was withdrawn after ONGC decided to sell its 49% in the company along with the government's.

Also read: NITI Aayog To Prepare Next List Of Divestment Targets In Few Weeks

In 2019, a second attempt was made to sell Pawan Hans but it failed to receive investor response.

The government's stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Air India too has received "multiple expressions of Interest" and the transactions are now in due diligence stage.

The government is targeting to conclude strategic sale of BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd., in the next fiscal.

Also read: Budget 2021: ‘Come What May, I Will Sell’ Not Our Strategy: Divestment Secretary

Besides, initial public offering of LIC would be launched and strategic sale process of two PSU banks and one general insurance company would be initiated.

For 2021-22, the government has set a disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore, over five times what it is aiming to raise in the current financial year. In the Revised Estimates for current fiscal, the target has been set at Rs 32,000 crore.

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