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NRL Disinvestment to Happen Prior to BPCL Privatization: DIPAM

In a recent interview with the DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management) Secretary Mr. Tuhin Kanta Pandey, it has been disclosed that the disinvestment of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) will be completed before the privatization of BPCL. The decision has been taken after the authorities reported frequent queries from potential bidders and multiple deadline extensions on the request of bidders. An association of Oil India Ltd and Engineers India Ltd. is being heard to buy 48 per cent stake in the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. In November 2019, the government had decided to carve out Numaligarh Refinery out of BPCL and announced that NRL will continue operating as a public sector entity. Currently, BPCL holds 61.65 per cent stake in NRL, while OIL holds 26 percent and the rest 12.35 percent is in the hands of the Assam government. It is being said that the shares held by the government may be retained or cancelled before the proposed transactions, while the total number of outstanding shares with BPCL may change.