The government is looking at disinvestment in around nine state-owned firms this year, a senior government official said here today.

"We are looking at divestment in eight to nine state- owned firms during the current fiscal", Disinvestment Department Joint Secretary Sangita Choure said on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) summit.

Disinvestment is likely to happen in state-owned firms in sectors like mining, steel and power, she said.

"Initially, we will look at companies where divestment has already happened up to 10 per cent, so as to increase the divestment level in them up to 25 per cent, but there may be few new additions too," she said.

"The government is making efforts to convince more retail investors to invest their money in mutual funds. SEBI mandated guidelines are already there in place. In categories like initial public offering (IPO) and follow-on public offering (FPO), there is 35 per cent bucket available for them.

"We do give them a discount. We are awaiting the final structure for the 10 per cent reservation in the offer for sale (OFS) category. Apart from this, we have to wait for the Budget too," Choure said.

She said the mutual fund industry has demanded increasing income tax rebate ceiling to Rs 2 lakh as against the currently existing mark of Rs 1 lakh, as well as including Rs 50,000 worth of investment in mutual funds within that increased ceiling.

The matter is already being discussed at the finance ministry level, she said.

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