No plan to privatise BPCL: Hardeep Singh Puri

The minister said the oil PSUs have performed well. Oil production is expected to reach 45,000 barrels a day soon.
No plan to privatise BPCL: Hardeep Singh Puri

NEW DELHI: Petroleum minister Hardeep Singh Puri has dismissed any possibility of privatisation of state-owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) citing the company’s significant profits.

Puri, addressing media after assuming the ministry’s responsibilities for the second time, emphasised that there would be no immediate reduction in petrol and diesel prices unless global crude prices drop below $70-80 a barrel. “BPCL has generated more revenue in the first three quarters than the stake sale amount,” he said.

The government had planned to sell its entire 52.98% stake in BPCL, expecting to fetch estimated Rs 45,000 crore in FY22. Expressions of Interest (EoI) or initial bids for this were invited by the government in March 2020. BPCL, India’s second-largest oil marketing company after Indian Oil, with refineries in Mumbai, Kochi, and Madhya Pradesh, possesses the third-largest refining capacity after Reliance and Indian Oil.

The minister highlighted the need to bring petrol and diesel within the purview of GST regime in the future. Last week, petroleum secretary expressed cautious optimism about this occurring in the current year.

The minister said the oil PSUs have performed well. Oil production is expected to reach 45,000 barrels a day soon.

Other ministers take charge

Among other economic ministers who took charge of their office on Tuesday include Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industries.

Upon assuming office, Goyal immediately convened a review meeting with senior officers from both departments within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Minister of State, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Jitin Prasada also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the Commerce Secretary and DPIIT Secretary presented briefs on the ongoing proposals and action items of the ministry.

While assuming charge of his office, Jyotiraditya Scindia, newly appointed Minister of Communications, emphasised the significant roles both telecom sector and the India Post division play on both the global and local stages. Newly-appointed power minister Manohar Lal Khattar discussed the addition of power generation, transmission, and battery storage capacities in the country during a meeting with officials and PSU CMDs on his first day in office.

Two officials said that during the inaugural meeting, the minister emphasized capacity addition, particularly focusing on battery storage.

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said the government is considering postponing implementation of income tax rules affecting MSMEs tax deductions that came into effect from April 1 this year.

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