New Delhi: The Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday said that the objections to the disinvestment progammes of the government can be sorted out through discussions.
“If there are certain people who think that there are certain short comings in that, those could be sorted out by discussions”, he said in an interview to television channel CNBC Awaz.
Although the government has expressed its commitment to offload equity in state-owned companies while retaining 51% share, the supporting DMK had raised objections to it.
Participating in the debate on motion of thanks to President Pratibha Patil’s address, DMK MP Kanimozhi said in the Rajya Sabha: “I welcome that the UPA government had laid a lot of emphasis on welfare schemes and on social sector spending. But we also have to keep away from the temptation of generating revenue by disinvesting our PSUs.”
Kanimozhi said that divesting PSUs will not help.
“This was especially so to a country like India where socialist model was very important,” she said, adding: “So, we cannot think of disinvestment in the PSUs.”
It was the DMK, whose opposition to disinvestment in the Nevyeli Lignite Corp, led to the previous UPA government’s decision to put on hold all its divestment proposals.
While spelling out the government’s policies in her address to the joint session, President Patil had said: “Our fellow citizens have every right to own part of the shares of public sector companies, while the government retains majority shareholding and control.”
Montek said: “The policies discussed in Presidents address and one of those is disinvestment. I think those would continue. The Prime Minister in the reply to Parliament on motions of thanks on President’s address has also said that consensus is very important. This is good that different view points surface in Parliament.”
Earlier after assuming charge of the office he had told reporters: “There is a lot of scope of fund raising by diluting the government’s stake in unlisted PSUs. So there can be no objection, whatsoever, to divestment while retaining government’s stake up to 51%.”
About the impact of global slowdown, Ahluwalia said: “2009-10 may not give you good relief, you will have to wait till 2010-11. One more fiscal stimulus is expected soon.”
“You would come to know (about fiscal deficit) when budget would be unveiled. But we cannot say that we should not be worried about fiscal deficit whatever it is,” he said.
About fiscal consolidation, he said: “We should go for new model FRBM Act, which would emphasis not use on the number of fiscal deficit but also on debt GDP ratio and more fluctuating fiscal deficit targets.”