Govt mulling FDI policy tweak to facilitate privatisation of BPCL

The government is considering a tweak in the current foreign direct investment (FDI) policy to allow overseas investors pick up a majority stake in India's second-biggest oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), sources said.

The government is privatising BPCL and is selling its entire 52.98 percent stake in the company. For BPCL privatisation, mining-to-oil conglomerate Vedanta had put in an expression of interest (EoI) for buying the government's 52.98 percent stake in the PSU. The other two bidders are said to be global funds, one of them being Apollo Global Management.

 The proposal is under discussion between the departments of disinvestment (DIPAM), industry (DPIIT) and economic affairs (DEA), they said. At present, only 49 percent FDI is permitted through automatic route in petroleum refining, without any disinvestment or dilution of domestic equity in the existing PSUs. With this provision, a foreign player would not be able to buy more than 49 percent stake in BPCL.

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