Sale of non-core assets: the tender for BSNL’s land assets does not arouse interest

The first-ever auction of non-core assets through the Department of Investment and Public Assets Management (DIPAM) asset monetization portal failed to garner an adequate response for land assets of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) which was expected to fetch at least Rs 470 crore. DIPAM has asked its real estate advisers to identify problems in the bidding criteria that can be resolved.

As of November 2021, DIPAM had listed six properties from BSNL and MTNL for sale through its new online auction portal for the state-developed asset monetization portal MSTC. Monetization of MTNL and BSNL assets was also part of the stimulus package announced by the Center in late 2019, and the Department of Telecommunications expected Rs 3,000 crore from the sale of the six properties, which included four plots of land of BSNL and land and residential apartments. by MTNL in Mumbai.

Only some apartments put up for sale by MTNL have received a response from bidders, while BSNL land in Hyderabad valued at around Rs 400 crore and Rajpura land valued at almost Rs 70 crore have no takers, said an official. However, it is learned that the auctions for the six assets will be held again due to an inadequate response from bidders for these properties.

This comes even as the government-appointed property consultants, in their preliminary assessment, had found greater interest in acquiring such assets from interested parties.

DIPAM has asked its real estate consultants to identify the specific issues that have led to unimpressive private sector participation.

They were also asked to determine what changes to the terms and conditions need to be relaxed, the official said.

CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd, JLL Property Consultants (India), Cushman & Wakefield and Knight Frank (India) Pvt Ltd are acting as consultants to the government for the sale of 6 properties from BSNL and MTNL.

The minimum bid that was requested from bidders for BSNL’s 11-acre land in Hyderabad was Rs 402 crore, and interested parties had to have a minimum net worth of Rs 100 crore. Another property put up on the block that did not attract interest was BSNL’s 20-acre land at Rajpura. The government had solicited bids of at least Rs 70 crore from interested parties with a net worth of Rs 17 crore. Other properties offered for sale were over 5 acres of land in Bhavnagar, Gujarat and 11 acres of land in Kolkata.

The auction is a two-stage process, and the highest bid received at the bidding stage becomes the floor price for the auction at the next stage, i.e. the electronic auction.

Once the valuation by the property consultants is complete, the properties will be auctioned again through the online auction process.

Even though the first auction was not a success, the center is of the opinion that the asset monetization process through the newly launched portal with MSTC has been tested and would help monetize non-core assets of PSUs and ministries. DIPAM helps PSUs to sell assets through the monetization portal if the value of assets exceeds Rs 100 crore.

  • 6 properties in BSNL, MTNL were listed for sale in Nov 2021
  • This was the first-ever auction using DIPAM’s asset monetization platform developed by MSTC
  • DIPAM helps PSUs monetize assets valued at over Rs 100 crore via online auction platform
  • The consultants had received preliminary interest from interested parties for the 6 assets before launching a tender
  • Government believes new online auction platform has been tested and will help monetize non-core assets of PSUs and Ministries

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