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Government ready with e-bidding platform for disinvestment

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The government is prepared with an electronic bidding system to make the public sector a vital sale process more clear and will get rid of paper bids that have been the standard.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary, department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) told TOI that “the platform, which has been created by state-run MSTC, will permit suitors for state-run companies to submit offers online as well as will encrypt them so that even the transaction advisers and government officials managing the deal can’t get to them”

Over the years, MSTC has developed the bidding platform for several government transactions including coal auction. The recent platform has just been tried and is dependent on recommendations of the independent external monitoring group including former chief justice R C Lahoti, former comptroller and auditor general V K Shunglu and former chief vigilance commissioner P Shankar.

With the strategic sale of a few public sector companies, including Air India and oil marketing organization BPCL entering a crucial period, the platform will likewise help address worries of government authorities, who have been careful about future activities, if there should arise an occurrence of certain issues in future.

Officials have been hesitant to push ahead with the disinvestment plan following CAG observations and inquiries by the Central Bureau of Investigation years after the sale of some of the public sector companies by the Vajpayee government.

“DIPAM will concentrate on finishing the key offer of PSUs that have been identified by the government with an expression of interest for BPCL to be brought for over a couple of days. Of the Rs 2.1 lakh crore target for the 2020-21 financial year, around Rs 90,000 crore is anticipated to originate from the offer of government holding in LIC and IDBI Bank, with a main part of the rest of the Rs 1.2 lakh crore expected to flow out of strategic disinvestment” Said Pandey.

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