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Govt Mulling Stake Sale in Bhel, Nalco: FM

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Proposals to sell some of government stakes in state-run firms Bharat Heavy Electricals, and National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco) are at "various stages" of consideration before the government approves them, the finance minister said on Friday.

There are proposals to divest a 5 per cent stake in Bhel and to sell a 10 per cent government stake in Nalco, Pranab Mukherjee told parliament in a written reply.

Bhel is India's top power gear maker, while Nalco is the country's third largest producer of aluminum.

The government is in the midst of a programme to raise about $8.9 billion through share sales in public sector firms including ONGC and SAIL this fiscal year (April-March) to cut its fiscal deficit and generate funds for schemes for the poor.

Mukherjee also said the government has approved selling the entire stakes in loss-making state-run firms Central Water Transport Corp, Scooters India Ltd and Tyre Corp of India to a strategic partner.

BHEL shares fell more than 4 per cent to Rs 1,687.80 on the National Stock Exchange, while those of NALCO dropped about 3 percent to Rs 59 by 1.15 PM. The broader market was down 2.5 per cent.