NEW DELHI, July 15 The Indian government will
decide next month whether to sell a 5 percent stake in state-run
Oil and Natural Gas Corp, a senior oil ministry
official said, in a deal that would be worth $2.9 billion at
current market prices.
If completed, the sale would raise nearly a third of the
target for privatisation revenues announced last week in Prime
Minister Narendra Modi's first budget, which seeks to curb the
fiscal deficit and nurse the weak economy back to health.
"The department of divestment has floated a note seeking our
comments for a 5 per cent stake sale in ONGC," the official, who
had direct knowledge of the matter, told Reuters on Tuesday. He
added that a decision would be taken in August.
An official at the finance ministry, which houses the
divestment department, said the government was interested in
selling stakes in ONGC and other state companies given their
high market valuations. He did not elaborate.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Douglas
Busvine and Muralikumar Anantharaman)