LIC. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Feb 5 : The Central government on Wednesday exuded confidence that the LIC listing will happen next fiscal, saying 8-9 months is needed for preparation of accounts.

"I am certain that it will happen next year. It takes about 8-9 months for preparation of its accounts... what kind of legal tweaks that need to be made before an IPO of the insurance behemoth could be launched," Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty said at a CII event here.

He also said an initial public offering (IPO) of LIC would also help to bring discipline into the organisation.

"LIC is a richly deserved share for all those who want to invest. It will bring discipline in the organisation and marking it to the market will also bring in much needed depth.

"I am quite hopeful that we should be able to finish it before March 31, 2021. The money, of course, will come through, that's less of an issue. It will be a substantial chunk that notwithstanding when you bring into public space such an organisation," he added.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her 2020-21 Budget, had said that LIC will be listed as part of the government disinvestment initiative.

Currently, the government owns 100 per cent stake in LIC, the country's largest insurer, controlling more than 70 per cent of the market share. The insurer has a market share of 76.28 per cent in number of policies and 71 per cent in first-year premiums.

LIC has many subsidiaries like LIC Home Finance, and also has the IDBI Bank in which it acquired controlling stake last year.

The government aims to garner Rs 90,000 crore from the listing of LIC and stake dilution in IDBI Bank in the next fiscal out of total disinvestment target of Rs 2.10 lakh crore.

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said the government is readying "big ticket disinvestment" for the next fiscal with approvals in place for BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation and Concor.

The government had revised downwards the budgeted disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh in the current Fiscal to Rs 65,000 crore. So far, it has mopped up Rs 34,000 crore and hopes to garner the remaining amount by March 31, 2020.

Pandey said the government will achieve the Rs 65,000 crore disinvestment target in the current fiscal, adding the big-ticket divestment targets have been identified and the stake sale in Air India, Shipping Corporation and BPCL will take place next year.

The stake sales of IDBI Bank where government will exit the bank and LIC listing will help in achieving the divestment target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore.

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