If at first you don’t succeed… India’s efforts to put a bigger stake in its leading state-owned companies into public hands were always going to be steeped in politics. Pressure on the fiscal budget, coupled with resistance to anything that resembles an increase in taxes mean that the government is under intense pressure to maximise returns from its holdings. This is no easy process.
But price shouldnt be everything. Part of the goal of selling stakes in companies such as NMDC, NTPC and perhaps Coal India later this year is to increase the participation of private sector and retail investors in the equity markets.
Solid, state-owned industry champions should be a no-brainer