1 min read.Updated: 01 Feb 2021, 07:23 PM ISTGoutam Das
The finance minister, during the budget speech, said that monetizing operating public infrastructure assets is an important financing option for new infrastructure construction
The union budget of 2021 underlined the government’s intent and roadmap for disinvestment of public sector enterprises, CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant said during an interaction with Mint. The government, nevertheless, wants to retain a certain number of public sector units in four strategic areas. “The strategic sectors are atomic energy, space and defence; transport and telecom; power, petroleum, coal and minerals; banking, insurance and finance," Kant said.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during her budget speech, mentioned that in spite of the pandemic that disrupted work for much of 2020, the government has progressed towards strategic disinvestment. Transactions of BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited among other companies are likely to be completed in 2021-22. “Other than IDBI Bank, we propose to take up the privatisation of two public sector banks and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22," she informed.
A second imperative of the government is asset monetisation. Kant said this was the key because the challenge before the Indian economy is gross capital formation. Investment rates have fallen in the economy with the private sector presently shy of investing. Asset monetisation is likely to interest the private sector and re-start a cycle of investments, he added.
“A lot of public sector land is available with different ministries and PSUs. Work around details of the land and details of the asset to be monetised has already been done," Kant informed.
The finance minister, during the budget speech, said that monetising operating public infrastructure assets is an important financing option for new infrastructure construction. The government is planning an asset monetisation dashboard that will provide visibility to investors.