In February, Prime minister Narendra Modi had announced the government was looking to garner Rs 2.5 trillion through sale of around 100 assets of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) across sectors. The enhanced Rs 6-trillion monetisation target is likely to include more assets of government departments as well as assets of state governments.
“The national monetisation plan will have a range of assets from Power Grid pipeline to national highways,” the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) secretary said at the annual session of industry body CII. The Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) of Power Grid was successfully conducted, after which a lot of regulatory systems have been put in place. This entailed streamlining a host of regulations and procedures. The second InvIT by GAIL is expected soon, he said.
Tenders for public private partnerships in railway stations have also been announced, and the model has been successful in managing airports.
“There is a big asset monetisation pipeline where private sector participation is anticipated,” he said. The government has also developed a dashboard to monitor the real-time progress of its asset monetisation pipeline, and provide visibility to investors.
Policy think tank NITI Aayog has finalised the national monetisation pipeline of potential brownfield infrastructure assets, and a Rs 2.5-trillion target was given to government departments and public sector undertakings. The pipeline has been created for a four-year period — from financial year 2021-22 to 2024-25.
After setting the Rs 2.5-trillion target for central government departments and CPSEs, coal ministry had identified assets over Rs 41,000 crore taking the fresh target to Rs 2.9 trillion. The Centre is also likely to set a target of Rs 3 trillion for states under the pipeline for the next 4-5 years, Business Standard had earlier reported. Pandey also said the government is adopting a calibrated approach for minority stake sales by keeping in mind the interests of the existing private investors.
The government intends to complete major disinvestments this year, including that of Air India, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Shipping Corporation of India, BEML, Pawan Hans and Neelachal Ispat Nigam. These have received sufficient interest from bidders, he said.
“The government is also talking about closure of enterprises quite openly for the first time, in case it cannot be disinvested. In the non-strategic sectors, the direction is that either we privatise or close. Hence, apart from the NCLT, there will also be a lot of assets on offer from the public sector,” Pandey said.