Govt to consider DLF’s plan to sell Pune SEZ next week

Govt to consider DLF’s plan to sell Pune SEZ next week

New Delhi: India’s largest real estate firm DLF’s proposal to sell its stake in IT/ITeS Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Pune to foreign investors will come up for consideration of the high-level government panel on 19 September.

The proposal of DLF Ackruti Info Parks (Pune) Ltd for sale of shares to foreign investor will be “placed before the Board of Approval (BoA), headed by commerce secretary," an official said.

Private equity major Blackstone is likely to buy the entire 100% stake in the 11.83 hectare SEZ in Pune, sources said.

DLF has 70% stake in DLF Ackruti Info Parks (Pune) Ltd and remaining stake is with Ackruti City Ltd.

Earlier, the department of revenue had opposed the proposal stating that the transaction would amount to sale of land, which is not permitted under the SEZ Act and rules.

The matter was referred to the law ministry which has given its nod to the proposal, contending that the “change in equity structure through transfer/sale/amalgamation and consequent change in the management cannot be treated as transfer or sale of land which will continue to vest in the company".

However, the decision has been left to the BoA, which will meet next week. Presided over by commerce secretary Rahul Khullar, the BoA comprises senior officials from the department of revenue, law ministry and other concerned departments.

DLF plans to raise about 7,000 crore in next two-three years through sale of non-core assets to reduce its debt of over 20,000 crore.

Besides the DLF proposal, the BoA will consider requests for extension of time from 44 SEZ developers, including Mukesh Ambani-promoted Navi Mumbai SEZ and Raheja SEZ for implementing their projects.

The extension of time has been sought in the backdrop of slowdown in the real estate and problems relating to land acquisition.