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PSU privatisation to kick off from Q1 FY18

Friday, Feb 3, 2017,11:28 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya on Thursday said he expects the government to begin the process of privatisation of some PSUs suggested by it in the first quarter of 2017-18.

“Niti Aayog had recommended privatisation of 17 PSUs. The ball is in Finance Ministry’s court…I am expecting that the first sale will happen in the first quarter of the next fiscal year,” Panagariya said at a panel discussion organised by CNBC TV18 and Mint.

Niti Aayog had prepared a list of public sector units where the government can sell its majority stake to private companies in order to bring in greater efficiency and professionalism in their functioning.

Based on its suggestions, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) had finalised a model of strategic disinvestment.

PSUs identified for strategic sale reportedly include profit-making Bharat Earth Movers and Certification Engineers International as well as loss-making Scooters India.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in Budget 2016-17 set a target of garnering Rs 20,500 crore from strategic sales.

Asked about 2016-17 Economic Survey’s suggestion of creating a state-owned asset reconstruction company, Panagariya said, “The idea is very much on the table.”

Speaking at the event, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, “We have prepared outcome Budget for every ministry. This is first time we have done this. The Niti Aayog has done lots of hard work with all the ministries so there is clearly defined outcome for every single ministry.”

“… All this has been put on dashboard. It would be regularly monitored on monthly basis,” Kant said.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said in the next fiscal, “the government would surpass its direct tax collection growth of 15.8 per cent”.

He added that in 2017-18, the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio will be higher than current fiscal’s.