The Straits Times
Published on Dec 15, 2012

India's Singh says to speed up sale of stakes in state firms


NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India will speed up the sale of stakes in state companies to revive the stock market and will push ahead with reforms aimed at spurring an investment recovery in the flagging economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday.

Selling equity in large public industries is a central plank of the government's plan to bring down a wide fiscal deficit, a major weakness in Asia's third largest economy.

This week, the sale of 10 per cent in state miner NMDC raised US$1.1 billion (S$ 1.34 billion) and the government is aiming for 300 billion rupees (S$6.7 billion) from such partial privatisations by March.

"We will speed up the disinvestment process, which will also revive our equity markets," Singh told a gathering of industry representatives in New Delhi.