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Nod to 100% FDI in oil PSUs approved for stake sale

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New Delhi, July 29

The government on Thursday permitted 100% foreign investment under the automatic route in oil and gas PSUs which have received in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment. The move would facilitate privatisation of India’s second biggest oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL).

The government is privatising BPCL and selling its entire 52.98% stake in the company.

According to a press note of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, a new clause has been added to the FDI policy for oil and natural gas sector.

“Foreign investment up to 100% under the automatic route is allowed in case an ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of a PSU has been granted by the government,” it said.

The decision regarding this was taken by the Union Cabinet last week.

The FDI limit in PSU oil refineries will continue at 49% — a limit that was set in March 2008. As of now, the government is selling the stake in only BPCL. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation’s largest, is the only other oil refining and marketing company under direct government control. — PTI

Two foreign entities keen on BPCL

Two out of the three companies that have put in an initial expression of interest (EoI) for buying out the government’s entire 52.98% stake in BPCL are foreign entities
The firm acquiring the government’s stake in BPCL will also have to make an open offer to buy an additional 26% stake from other stakeholders at the same price, as per the takeover rules

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