Jan. 5, 2017
An inter-ministerial group headed by secretary, department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM), will soon initiate the strategic sale of state-run Projects & Development India Ltd (PDIL), an undertaking of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
The government, on the recommendation of Niti Aayog, gave an in-principle approval for a strategic sale of PDIL in October. PDIL, a mini ratna company, is a consultancy and engineering firm and is engaged in providing design, engineering and project execution related services to various fertilizer projects.
“An inter-ministerial group has been formed recently under the chairmanship of secretary, DIPAM, which will meet shortly to chalk out the strategy to carry forward the strategic sale of PDIL,” a senior government official said on the condition of anonymity.
The company achieved a turnover of Rs.72.05 crore and posted a loss of Rs.6.39 crore in 2015-16, compared with a turnover of Rs.57.55 crore and a loss of Rs.10.48 crore during the previous year.
A second official, who also did not wish to be named, said the department of fertilizers has also formed a committee which will look into the technical and financial valuation of the company before bids are invited.
According to DIPAM guidelines, the administrative department has been given the task of valuation, and for this purpose an asset valuer has to be appointed. “Methods selected by Niti Aayog and guidelines laid down by core group of secretaries on disinvestment (CGD), headed by Cabinet secretary, for valuation should be considered to get the best price,” according to the guidelines.
According to information available on the company’s website, the decline in the income and profits since 2013-14 was because of not securing enough orders, mainly due to lack of new investments in fertilizers sector. “There were no greenfield or brownfield urea plants for the past many years, except Matix Fertilizers at West Bengal. Lack of investments in ammonia-urea units for past several years has reduced the business of PDIL,” the company says on its website.
Queries emailed to Department of Fertilizers, DIPAM and PDIL on 22 December remained unanswered.
Experts said the move was on expected lines. “We have Engineers India Ltd, MECON and PDIL into the same business of consultancy and engineering. And over a period of time, others branched out to other sectors. However, PDIL was stuck to fertilizers space and failed to get business,” said Neeru Abrol, former chairman and managing director, National Fertilizers Ltd.