India to sell 10 percent Coal India stake

India will sell up to 10 percent of state-controlled Coal India on Friday in a deal that could raise close to $4 billion as part of a government push to sell off assets.

Delhi, which owns nearly 90 percent of Coal India, will sell over 315 million shares, with an option to auction another 315.8 million, according to a stock exchange filing.

"The sale shall take place on a separate window of the Stock Exchanges and shall commence on January 30, 2015," the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) said in a statement late Wednesday.

Delhi has been struggling to meet its target of raising close to $10 billion from asset sales during the current financial year, which ends in March.

Selling its Coal India stake would raise up to $3.9 billion at current market prices.

India's right-wing government pledged in October to open up the coal industry to private players as part of a raft of reforms by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive the economy.

The latest move could, however, see miners up in arms again just weeks after millions of workers went on strike over the plan to open the sector to competition, which they said would lead to job cuts.

The unions relented after the coal minister assured them there were no plans to privatise state-run Coal India, which has a near monopoly over production and employs 3.4 million workers.

The government approved an ordinance to allow coal mines to be sold to private companies for their own use, as well as permitting commercial mining at some point in the future.

The executive order on coal came after India's top court threw the sector into turmoil in September by cancelled more than 200 permits for coal mines, after declaring the process of awarding them illegal.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has set a target of raising a hefty 584.43 billion rupees ($9.5 billion) from the sale of holdings in state-run companies and non-government firms during this fiscal year.

Kicking off the privatisation drive, the government offered shares early December in the country's biggest domestic steel producer.