FinMin to use Facebook, Twitter to push disinvestment

New Delhi - Government is looking at using the social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, in a big-way to generate interest in its disinvestment programme among investors, high networth individuals and opinion makers.

The Department of Disinvestment in the Finance Ministry will hire an advertising or public relation agency for the purpose.

DoD said the agency will carry out advertising/PR work for sale of government holdings in state-owned firms through market instruments like, Initial Public Offers (IPOs), Further Public Offers (FPOs) and Offer for Sale (OFSs).

Besides print and television medium, the agency will be required to disseminate information about stake sale through "social Media including text and voice services as well as social networking services".

It will also have to do public relations exercise through news feeds, blogs and chat shows.

DoD aims to target domestic institutional investors, FIIs, retail investors, high net worth individuals, policy makers and opinion makers like analysts and broking community.

The 'communication partner', to be roped initially for one year, will assist DoD in formulating a "smart, multimedia communication strategy" and an related work plan.

"The agency will formulate and execute awareness outreach programmes in support of the work of the department to optimise participation of retail and institutional investors and influence opinion makers within regulatory requirements," DoD said.

The government is facing a daunting task in meeting the Rs 43,425 crore disinvestment target for the current financial year ending March, as against total proceeds of less than Rs 1,800 crore collected so far in 2014-15.

Further, the selected agency will be required to work in association with merchant bankers and legal advisors retained by the government and PSUs to ensure compliance to applicable regulatory regimes.

The year 2015 may see shares worth over Rs 50,000 crore being put on the table by the government, including by way of part-sale of its holdings in PSUs and its residual minority stakes in some private sector entities. PTI