India cabinet eases foreign investment rules to aid BPCL sale - sources

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FILE PHOTO: A man paints the logo of oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp on a wall on the outskirts of Kochi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's federal cabinet approved plans on Thursday to allow 100% foreign direct investment in state-run oil companies in which a strategic stake sale is announced, a move to help privatisation of Bharat Petroleum Corp, two government sources said.

"Foreign investment up to 100% under automatic route is allowed in cases where government has accorded in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of the PSU (public sector undertaking) engaged in petroleum and natural gas sector," said one of the sources.

India so far allows 49% foreign direct investment in state-run oil and gas companies. The government wants to sell its near 53% stake in BPCL, India's second-largest state-run refiner, in this financial year ending in March 2022, as part of plans to raise 1.75 trillion rupees ($23.5 billion) from stakes in companies.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Writing by Manoj Kumar)

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