ONGC Pays Rs 7,224 Crore Dividend, Boosts Government Revenue
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ONGC Pays Rs 7,224 Crore Dividend, Boosts Government Revenue

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The government has received a dividend of Rs 7,224 crore from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for the fiscal year 2023-24, positioning ONGC as the leading contributor among oil and gas companies to the government's revenue. ONGC's dividend surpasses Indian Oil Corporation's dividend of Rs 3,636 crore by almost twice, Bharat Petroleum Corporation's dividend of Rs 2,413 crore by nearly three times, GAIL's dividend of Rs 1,863 crore by almost four times, and Oil India's dividend of Rs 737 crore by about ten times.

These dividends are interim, with the final amounts typically determined after the companies announce their annual earnings. The substantial dividends are a result of the companies recording robust profits throughout the financial year. Elevated prices of oil and gas have bolstered profits for producers, while a freeze on domestic fuel prices has enhanced earnings for refiners. Additionally, natural gas marketers have experienced benefits from heightened fuel consumption.

“ONGC strikes a balance between releasing dividends and generating internal resources to meet current shareholder expectations and fund future capital expenditure”, said ONGC chairman Arun Singh. The company expects its capital expenditure to almost double by the end of the decade.

Over the last couple of years, global oil and gas firms have utilized their abnormally strong profits to offer substantial dividends or engage in share buybacks, thereby altering investor sentiment towards these companies that had faced challenges in the stock market prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the nine months ending December 2023, ONGC declared a consolidated profit of Rs 43,466 crore and distributed a dividend of Rs 12,266 crore. The government holds a 59% stake in ONGC. IOC disbursed a total dividend of Rs 7,061 crore to its shareholders, having earned a profit of Rs 36,364 crore during the same period. Coal India's dividend payout of Rs 12,634 crore, which includes Rs 7,976 crore to the government, exceeds ONGC's dividend for the year.

NTPC, the leading power producer in India, declared a dividend of Rs 4,363 crore, of which Rs 2,230 crore is allocated to the government. Power Grid Corporation distributed a dividend of Rs 7,906 crore, with Rs 4,059 crore directed to the government, whereas Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd disbursed a dividend of Rs 1,471 crore, with Rs 1,054 crore allocated to the government. NMDC distributed dividends totaling Rs 1,685 crore, out of which Rs 1,024 crore was earmarked for the government.