The Indian government is unlikely to extend the 16 November deadline for the stake sale in the public sector energy firm, BPCL, through which the government plans to fetch revenues worth $6.17 billion.
A source in the federal Finance Ministry has revealed that four extensions have already been given due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The interested parties will have to submit the Expression of Interest (EoI) by the deadline of 16 November”, the source told Sputnik, while maintaining anonymity.
The plan to privatise India’s second largest oil refinery, BPCL, was announced by the Indian government in November last year. As per the decision, the Indian government offered its entire stake of 52.98 percent in the state-run energy firm to be offloaded for a consideration of $6.17 billion.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to a national lockdown in the month of March this year, the deadline for the submission of the Expression of Interest was extended until 2 May.
The lockdown was announced with effect from 25 March and remained in force until the end of May. The government then extended the deadline three times.
As per the bidding criteria issued by the Indian Finance Ministry, a private company with a net worth of $10 billion is eligible for bidding for the state-run energy firm. Also, bids can be placed in the form of a consortium of not more than four companies.
In the case of a consortium, the lead partner of the consortium should have a net worth of $1 billion, as per the criteria set by the Indian government.