Underscoring the concept of minimum government and maximum governance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the government has targetted to monetise 100 public sector enterprises (PSEs) across sectors barring four strategic sectors under the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline proposed by the Finance Minister in her budget speech. “Today there are many under-utilised and unutilised assets under government control. With this thought, we had announced the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline and have targeted to monetise such 100 assets with chances for investment opportunities worth Rs 2.5 trillion,” PM Modi said.
Speaking at a webinar on privatisation by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), PM Modi said the government is moving ahead with the mantra of monetise and modernise. He added that “When the government monetises, the private sector fills that gap and brings in investment, global best practices, top quality manpower, and changes in management with itself. This modernises things and brings new developments in sectors along with expansion and job opportunities.”
The budget had outlined four strategic sectors: first, atomic energy, space, and defence; second, transport and telecommunications; third, power, petroleum, coal, and other minerals; and fourth, banking, insurance, and financial services to have a bare minimum presence of PSEs. “Remaining are to be privatised or merged or subsidiarized with other CPSEs or closed,” the Finance Ministry had added in a statement.
“In the budget, our intent was very clear with the new policy announced for PSEs that except for four strategic sectors, we are committed to privatisation of rest all PSEs. Even in strategic sectors, we have stated that the minimum number of PSEs should remain. This scheme, keeping medium-term strategic approach in mind, will help in the selection of individual companies,” PM Modi added.
The Prime Minister also noted in his address that many loss-making PSEs are being supported by taxpayer money. He stressed that PSEs should be operational not just because “they are running for many years. It is the government’s responsibility that Indian enterprises, businesses should be given full support but neither it is required nor possible today for the government to run enterprises and remain its owner.”