Plan For LIC’s IPO On Course, Says DIPAM Secretary
The government has dismissed media speculations around the delay in Life Insurance Corp.'s public offer.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary at the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, said media speculations "doubting the feasibility" of the state insurer's IPO this fiscal are incorrect. Pandey reaffirmed on Twitter that the IPO plan is on course in the last quarter of this fiscal.
DIPAM's clarification came after a few media publications reported that LIC's IPO was unlikely to take place in the current financial year, since the valuation of the life insurer was taking more-than-anticipated time. And that the preparatory work is still far from complete.
India is seeking a valuation between Rs 8 lakh crore ($109 billion) and Rs 10 lakh crore for state-backed LIC, in what’s slated to be the nation’s biggest IPO. The government seeks to do so by selling up to a 10% stake.
In October, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said the government is pushing to get the LIC's IPO across the line by next March. Sitharaman also clarified that there won't be any delay due to a lack of political will. Given that the 65-year old insurer hasn’t ever been valued, the process will take time, she had said.
The IPO is crucial for the government because it would make up the bulk of its plans to raise Rs 1.75 lakh crore through asset sales in the current fiscal.
The central government is still 95% short of its divestment target even as the third quarter of the ongoing financial year nears completion. India, according to DIPAM, has raised Rs 9,240 crore through sale of stake in seven central public sector enterprises as of December.