Mumbai: The government is planning to sell 10% of its stake in iron ore mining company NMDC Ltd through an offer for sale, according to a notification on the website of the department of divestment. The government, which owns 80% in the company, has invited bids from merchant bankers by 16 May.

NMDC mines 30 million tonnes of iron ore a year and is expanding its activities to production of steel and other value-added products like pellets, the notification said.

In 2015-16, the government mobilized about 18,277 crore through divestment offers in companies like Container Corp. of India, NTPC, Rural Electrification Corp., Power Finance Corp., India Oil Corp., Dredging Corp. of India and Engineers India.

In his Union Budget speech in February, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said that the government aims to raise 56,500 crore by selling stakes in state-owned units in 2016-17, of which 36,000 crore will come from minority stake sales and 20,500 crore from strategic stake sales. This is 19% lower than 69,500 crore the government had targeted in the last budget. That target was later scaled down.

In January, the Union government had invited bids from merchant bankers for the initial public offer (IPO) of Cochin Shipyard Ltd. The proposed IPO will see the government reduce its stake in the company by 10%.

Shares of NMDC fell 0.05% to 102.10 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.14% to 25,880.38 points.

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