Vedanta subsidiary Sterlite Industries has offered to pay Rs 16,000 crore to buy government stakes in Hindustan Zinc (HZL) and Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco), in which the majority holding was acquired by the Vedanta group about a decade back. “Government had asked us, if we will be interested to take its stakes in HZL and Balco. We answered in the affirmative. As per the prevailing market price, we have offered Rs 16,000 crore for buying stakes. That was in January,” Chairman of the USD 70-billion metal and mining conglomerate Anil Agarwal told PTI. He said the price Vedanta has quoted for buying residual stakes in HZL was based on a month’s average stock price of the zinc producer. Vedanta had acquired government’s 51 per cent stake in Balco in 2001 during the NDA regime for Rs 551 crore. Government still has 29.54 per cent stake in Hindustan Zinc and 49 per cent holding in Balco. The government does not seem to be happy with the valuation quoted by Vedanta and an empowered group of ministers which is looking into the matter had favoured a status quo till a fair valuation is arrived at.