The Odisha government has floated a global tender to disinvest 49 per cent stake in the state-owned Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC).
The move came just two years after the state government bought back its 49 per cent share in OPGC from US-based company, AES Corporation Ltd.
In the tender, the state Energy Department said: “Expression of Interests (EOIs) are hereby invited from Interested Bidders (IBs) for purchase of 49 percent shareholding of government of Odisha in Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC).”
The disinvestment will be completed in a two-stage process. SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBICAP) has been engaged as transaction advisor for the process. The interested bidders can submit the EOI by February 28.
The OPGC was incorporated in 1984 with the objective of establishing, operating and maintaining thermal generating stations and in 1996-97, it started generating power. The Odisha government sold 49 per cent share of the company to AES Corporation Ltd.
In 2020, AES sold all its shares to the state-run Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) for around Rs 1,000 crore.
Meanwhile, opposition BJP and Congress have strongly opposed the move of the BJD government.
BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling alleged that the BJD government has made up its mind to sell all public entities to collect huge donations from private companies for the upcoming election.
Similarly, senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister Panchanan Kanungo said: “When the state government claims that they are in a very strong financial condition, planning to make a bigger budget and spending crores of rupees in beautification projects, what is the need to sell the profit-making OPGC.”
He said that the state government has also privatised many of the power entities when electricity has become a basic need of people now. It is very unfortunate that the government is privatising the OPGC, he said.
On the other hand, BJD leader Dhruba Sahoo said disinvestment in OPGC was made by the Congress government during the regime of Chief Minister J.B. Patnaik.
“When the AES company wanted to sell its share, the Odisha government acquired it. I think the government is moving to disinvest in OPGC to infuse more money in the corporation for its development,” he said.