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The Indian Government is looking to divest small stakes in state-owned mining firms to increase revenue in the last quarter of the financial year, reported Bloomberg News citing people with knowledge of the development.

Through the offer-for-sale mechanism, the country plans to offload 5%-10% in firms such as Coal India, Hindustan Zinc, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, according to the people.

As part of the plan, the government could select a total of five firms, including a listed entity under the railway ministry.

According to Bloomberg’s estimates, sales at the lower end of the range could raise Rs165bn ($2bn) for the government, based on current prices.

Proceeds from the sales could be used by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration to fund its subsidy bill, which slightly surged as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In the year through March, India had budgeted Rs650bn from the sale of similar assets. However, the country could reach over a third of the target, primarily from the Life Insurance Corporation’s $2.7bn initial public offering.

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By GlobalData

Coal India owns ten fully owned Indian subsidiary companies and 318 mines as of 1 April 2022. Of these, 19 comprise mixed mines, 141 are underground and 158 are open-cast sites.

The Indian Government holds a 29.5% stake in Hindustan Zinc while mining company Vedanta owns the remaining 64.9% stake.

Hindustan Zinc owns hydrometallurgical zinc smelters, lead-zinc mines, lead smelters, pyro metallurgical lead-zinc smelters, as well as sulphuric acid and captive power plants in northwest India.