By Kartik Goyal, Bloomberg
New Delhi: India’s Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said the government will sell its remaining stake in Maruti Udyog Ltd. in the financial year starting 1 April.
“There is no pressing requirement for revenue this year,” Chidambaram said in an interview in New Delhi today. He did not provide more details.
India this month accepted bids for its 10.27 % stake in New Delhi-based Maruti, the nation’s biggest carmaker that’s 54% owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Co. India is seeking to sell shares in state-owned companies to raise money for programs such as those aimed at better health and education.
The Indian government put off selling its stake in Maruti Udyog after the company’s share price declined, the Business Standard said on 17 March.
Maruti shares have declined 12 % on the Bombay Stock Exchange from 22 February when the government decided to sell its stake. The benchmark Sensex index fell 11 % over the same period. The stock dropped Rs2.4, or 0.3 %, to 777 rupees at 1:32 p.m. local time in Mumbai.
India’s cabinet had in December last year approved the sale of the government’s remaining stake in Maruti Udyog. Maruti makes 10 models including the WagonR and Swift hatchbacks at its factory in Gurgaon, adjoining capital New Delhi.
India’s direct tax revenue from companies and personal incomes rose 41.2% to Rs1.56 trillion ($35.4 billion) in the 10 months ended 31 January, boosted by faster economic growth, according to the latest available figures. The government expects to collect more revenue in the current fiscal year than targeted, Chidambaram said last month.
The government raised Rs15.67 billion in January last year selling an 8% stake in Maruti to local state-owned banks, insurance and financial companies.
Twenty-four Indian banks including Punjab National Bank Ltd. and several financial institutions and domestic funds have expressed interest in buying the government’s stake in Maruti, Financial Express said on 13 March, without mentioning the source of its information.