According to sources, the government has placed the privatisation of Central Electronics Ltd (CEL) on hold after the employees union filed a lawsuit challenging the company's sale to a small corporation. Allegations of undervaluation in the city-based Nandal Finance & Leasing's Rs 210 crore highest bid are being investigated, according to Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which is overseeing the privatisation process.
According to Pandey, the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the sale of the government's whole stake in CEL to Nandal Finance & Leasing has not been granted because the claims are still being investigated.
The valuation of CEL has been done by two different sets of advisors -- transaction advisor and asset valuer as per prescribed valuation methodologies, said Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which is running the privatisation process along with DSIR.
Of many allegations made by the CEL employees union, one relates against the general disinvestment policy of the government. Another relates to the absence of sectoral experience criteria in the EoI.
The government approved the sale of CEL to Nandal Finance & Leasing for Rs 210 crore in November, under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). By March 2022, the acquisition was expected to be finalised.
Central Electronics Limited is a government-owned corporation under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research of the Ministry of Science and Technology (DSIR). It was established in 1974 with the objective of commercialising innovations developed by the country's national laboratories and research and development agencies. It is a pioneer in the field of Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) and it has developed the technology with its own R&D efforts.