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Government postpones sale of public sector banks till next year

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: India’s plan to sell the two state-controlled lenders may be postponed to the next financial year as the government is yet to seek Parliament’s nod to make necessary laws changes. Initiate the transaction according to people familiar with the matter.

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The finance ministry has not finalized the modalities for seeking approval from lawmakers for the sale, leaving little time for the process to be completed this year, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public.

The government will seek buyers for the two state-run banks by March 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in February, as she outlined the country’s budget for the current fiscal year beginning April 1.

A finance ministry spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bloomberg News reported in July that India’s plan to sell a majority stake in the country’s second-largest state refiner has also slowed, and the transaction could only happen as early as next year, rather than 2021.

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The administration may still go ahead with other asset sales, including Life Insurance Corporation of India’s initial public offering, which could help the country’s efforts to raise funds to make up for any slump in tax revenues this year.

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