The Centre will sell 26 per cent stake in defence equipment manufacturer BEML, making it the first major PSU to be sold through strategic disinvestment. The stake sale may fetch the exchequer over ₹1,000 crore. In a notification to the stock exchanges, BEML said that the Cabinet has given an ‘in-principal’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 26 per cent equity shares in BEML Ltd. out of government’s shareholding of 54.03 per cent. After the strategic sale, government stake in the PSU would come down to 28.03 per cent. The strategic sale approval is just the third in over 12 years. Some of the public sector units that NITI Aayog has identified for sale of government’s majority stake to private companies in order to bring in greater efficiency and professionalism in their functioning. Established in May 1964, BEML operates on three major business verticals for associated equipment manufacturing — mining and construction, rail and metro and defence and aerospace. Its turnover has risen to more than ₹3,500 crore. The government is targeting ₹56,500 crore in disinvestment proceeds this fiscal. Of this, ₹36,000 crore is to come from minority stake sale in PSUs and another ₹20,500 crore from strategic stake sale.