New Delhi: The resistance of Public Sector Units (PSUs), to invest in the share markets amid economic instability, has put the disinvestment plans of the government on hold. Eager to increase its non-tax reserves through disinvestment, the government is finding no way out as the companies have declined to enter the share market until next year.

The Department of Disinvestment is facing double trouble with the dual responsibility of supplementing the government treasury with more moolahs along with taking care of the problems faced by the PSUs.

Among the companies included in the disinvestment list for the current financial year, only ONGC has made some efforts in this regard. While Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, Hindustan Copper Ltd and MMTC are constantly trying to avoid the issue, others like IRNL and HCL are stuck on the number of independent directors.

According to SEBI, the companies must have at least 50 independent directors to raise public issue in the market. The mentioned companies have not been able to fulfill the criteria leading to the delay.

According to the sources, the Disinvestment Department is pressurising them but in vain as the PSUs are waiting for markets to regain stability.

In the 2011-12 fiscal year, the government had set a target to acquire Rs 40,000 crore fund by disinvestments. But the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) came to the rescue of the companies citing that the companies have a right to decide on the matter for themselves.

Dr U D Choubey, Director General of SCOPE said, “The companies must hit the volatile markets very carefully in the present situation. Therefore, the decision of time and price must be left to the companies themselves.”

(JPN/Bureau)