To avoid a Balco-like situation, the finance ministry has mooted a proposal to sell the government's remaining shares in Hindustan Zinc to the public.
A Cabinet note to this effect had been circulated and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs was likely to take up the matter at its next meeting, official sources said.
The government wants to sell its stake in the company before April, since after that, Sterlite, the strategic partner in Hindustan Zinc, can buy the stake through a call option.
In the case of Balco, Sterlites use of the call option landed the government in a legal wrangle. The matter is now being heard by the Delhi High Court and the government has set up a secretarial panel to look into it.
The government has a 29.53 per cent stake in Hindustan Zinc and going by the current price of about Rs 584 per share, it could mop up over Rs 7,200 crore.