A decision on the proposed sale of Bharat Petroleum Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Limited (HPCL) would now be taken in December.
The privatization of the companies should trim the budget deficit to 5.3 per cent of economic output in the fiscal year ending March 2003.
The government has so far only managed to raise one billion dollars from privatization in the current year against a targeted 2.4 billion dollars.
For now it’s not clear how big a stake of 51 per cent of HPCL and 66 per cent of BPCL the government is going to sell.
Global energy giant Royal Dutch-Shell and Reliance Industries Limited, India's biggest private company, have expressed an interest in bidding for the two companies.
But there is also an opposition to the sale of HPCL and BPCL including Naik, Fernandes, Coal Minister Uma Bharti and Chemical and Fertilisers Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.