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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  NITI Aayog hopes to expedite PSU disinvestment process: Arvind Panagariya

Hyderabad: The government hopes to expedite the disinvestment process in state-run companies to achieve its target of raising 56,500 crore in the current fiscal year, said Arvind Panagariya, vice chairperson of government think tank NITI Aayog said.

NITI Aayog has been tasked with identifying state-run enterprises that are eligible for strategic sale. A newly constituted department of investment public asset management, the revamped version of the erstwhile department of disinvestment, will work with NITI Aayog to recommend central public sector undertakings (PSUs) eligible for disinvestment.

Panagariya said the two bodies are in the process of fast-tracking PSU disinvestment. NITI Aayog is identifying two types of PSUs. The first are sick units or public sector companies that have been losing money for a long time. The second are public sector entities in which the government can sell a strategic stake to maximize revenue potential.

Panagariya said NITI Aayog is at an advanced stage of identifying sick units for sale. “We hope to move fast," Panagariya told reporters in Hyderabad without specifying a timeline.

NITI Aayog will submit a blueprint for divesting government’s stake in some PSUs and strategic sale of sick units this month, Press Trust of India reported on 3 April.

Panagariya, a former economics professor, was in Hyderabad as the chairperson of NITI Aayog’s task force on elimination of poverty, which conducted its first regional consultation meeting with the state governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Lakshadweep in the country’s south in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

The government aims to raise 36,000 crore by selling minority stakes in public sector companies and 20,500 crore from strategic stake sales, according to the annual budget. The 56,500 crore disinvestment target for the current fiscal is 19% lower than last year’s target of 69,500 crore.

In 2015-16, the government raised about 18,400 crore by selling stakes in Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd (1,608 crore), Power Finance Corp. Ltd (1,671 crore), Dredging Corp. of India Ltd (53.33 crore), Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (9,369 crore), Engineers India Ltd (643 crore), and NTPC Ltd (estimated 5,050 crore), according to data from the department of disinvestment’s website.

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Updated: 14 Apr 2016, 03:53 AM IST
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