Centre Likely To Invite Fresh Bids For Privatisation Of State-Owned Central Electronics Limited: Report

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 2, 2022 11:23 AM +05:30 IST
Centre Likely To Invite Fresh Bids For Privatisation Of State-Owned Central Electronics Limited: ReportMinistry of Finance. (GettyImages)

The Centre is likely to invite fresh bids for divestment of state-owned Central Electronics Limited (CEL).

The government had in November last year approved the sale of CEL, under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), to Nandal Finance and Leasing for Rs 210 crore after a long drawn out open, competitive, bidding process. The transaction was scheduled to be completed by March 2022.

However, the CEL employees' association moved the Delhi High court, alleging that both bidders for CEL were related companies and there were anomalies in the process.

Following uproar over the issue by the opposition, the government in January this year decided to put on hold the Letter of Intent (LoI) for CEL privatisation and sought a legal view on its future course of action.

"In the case of CEL, the Law Ministry is of the opinion to scrap the process and invite fresh bids," one of the persons aware of the development was quoted in a Economic Times report as saying.

An inter-ministerial group examining the CEL sale had not come across any lapses over valuation and was of the view that the process had been followed with due diligence as per the law, while pointing to the allegations that both companies were inter-related, which is against the spirit of competitive bidding, the ET report cited people aware of the development as saying.

"The Letter of Intent (LoI) has not been issued yet and legally the Centre can re-invite bidding," an official was quoted by ET as saying.

The official maintained that any final call on the issue will be taken after 11 July, which is when the CEL case will be heard next.

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