Today is the last day for submission of bids for the privatization of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a public sector oil marketing company. Sources say several global energy companies, including UK-based BP and Saudi Aramco, may opt-out of the bidding process. Total and Russian company Rosneft are also unwilling to bid.
RIL and ADNOC may Bid for BPCL
The government holds a 52.98% stake in BPCL and the government intends to sell the entire stake. However, due to low oil prices and low demand, BPCL is yet to receive the bids as expected. Sources say that Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) may bid for BPCL.
Expect to get 50 Thousand Crores
The government is expected to get Rs 50 thousand crores from the sale of the entire 52.98% stake in BPCL. This will help the government to improve the country’s fiscal deficit. Due to the economic outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, the fiscal deficit is expected to be 8% of GDP. The government has set a target of raising Rs 2.10 lakh crore through disinvestment in the current financial year. Of these, the government has so far collected only Rs 6,138 crore.
Bidding Deadline Increased by 4 Times
The strategic process of selling BPCL has been affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Due to this, the government has to increase the bidding deadline four times. Earlier, the last date for bidding was 30 September. Even then, the company did not receive the bids as expected. After the sale process was affected due to Covid-19, the government approved the bidding through e-mail.