New Delhi: Amid the ongoing turmoil in the share market the disinvestment programme for the current financial year did not start on a positive note as the first public issue of Power Finance Corporation (PFC) failed to meet the expectations. The government has set a target to raise Rs 40,000 crore through disinvestment of the state-run firms for the fiscal year 2011-12.

Thus the apprehension of government will continue to prevail in the current financial year as well. The other Public Sector Units (PSUs) in the list of disinvestment programme may end up in trouble as the follow-on public offer of Power Finance Corporation (PFC) was subscribed only 3.58 times.

The major contribution came from Institutional investors while foreign institutional investors did not show any interest in the issue. Retail investors too did not show any interest.

The government aims to dilute its holdings in Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Hindustan Copper this fiscal apart from PFC.

There may be less investment in these companies through public issue as they are already listed in the stock exchange.

Last year, investors remained away from the public issue of government-owned companies as long as uncertainty prevailed in the share market.

According to government strategists, “ONGC, IOC and SAIL may change the fate of disinvestment programme while share markets experts say if uncertainty continues to prevail in the share market, the companies may find it difficult to get investors”.

“Instead of investing in public issues investors should buy shares directly from share market. Amid the continuous uproar in the share market investors may get the opportunity to buy shares at low price,” an expert said.

JPN/Bureau