NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has decided to set up a panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to expedite the sale of government's stake in refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp <HPCL.NS> to explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp <ONGC.NS>, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
The Indian cabinet last week decided to sell the government's 51.1 percent stake in refiner and fuel retailer HPCL to oil producer ONGC.
The panel "will help in taking quick decision with regard to the timing, price, terms and conditions and other related issues to the transaction," Pradhan told lawmakers in a statement.
Pradhan reiterated that the integration of the two companies will be completed in the current fiscal year.
Post-acquisition by ONGC, HPCL can still retain its brand identity, he said.
The acquisition will help create a vertically integrated 'oil major' with a presence across the hydrocarbon chain.
ONGC's margins have been hit by falling oil prices while improved gross refining margins and rising local fuel sales have help boost profits of HPCL.
"This will give ONGC an enhanced capacity to bear higher risks, take higher investment decisions and to neutralise the impact of global crude oil price volatility," Pradhan said.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Nigam Prusty; Editing by Sunil Nair)