The prevailing “wisdom” on disinvestment is Catch-22
We will disinvest; we will not. We will divest upto 49%; no, we will not.
We will disinvest when the time is ripe. Meaning, when the market is ruled by fools and everyone and his sabjiwala is buying stocks.
Here’s my reading:
1. By saying they will disinvest, only when the market is near its peak, the government has professed to be the ultimate stock market expert. They can actually predict the peak.
2. They have also said that it takes 8-9 months for a single disinvestment to go through; that’s the time it takes the government to do all the due-diligence, window-dress the books, do a multi-country road-show and so on.
3. 1&2 read together tells you that this government will never disinvest in anything, because they will have to anticipate the theoretical market peak 8-9 months prior to it happening.
4. If any proof was ever needed, it is here that the 1st 5 years of soporific calm that this government displayed, was not due to being periodically hit on the “left” side of the head by blunt instruments wielded by Messr Karat and Yechury. The Congress government of Manmohan Singh, does not need any further help in muddle-headed thinking; they are quite capable of muddling along themselves, thank you.