Deccan Chronicle

26 PSUs chosen for divestment

Govt awaits opportune time to enter market


It is official now. The government has revealed that

26 public sector undertakin­gs (PSUs) have been chosen for privatisat­ion as of now. Out of the shortliste­d PSUs, 23 have received the Cabinet approval recently. The move is part of the government’s efforts to meet its ambitious Rs 2.1lakh crore divestment target for the current fiscal.

Responding a right to informatio­n (RTI) query sought by Chandigarh­based activist Aman Sethi, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam), under the Ministry of Finance, on August 24 said, “There are

26 public sector undertakin­gs in the list as on the date so far in which the Government of India is pursuing strategic divestment.”

The activist raised two more specific queries; about the percentage of shares the government plans to divest; and if Uco Bank is also included in the sell-off list. The Dipam responded that the percentage of shares would be decided according to the market conditions and that no informatio­n was available with the department about the Uco Bank issue.

Sensing heightened risk to revenue from the economic slowdown and the evolving pandemic conditions, the government has set a disinvestm­ent target of Rs 2.10 lakh crore for the

2020-21 fiscal. Of this, Rs

1.20 lakh crore is to come from disinvestm­ent of public sector undertakin­gs and another Rs 90,000 crore from stake sale in other financial institutio­ns.

In July, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced privatisat­ion of about 23 public sector companies, which had already received cabinet approval. Elaboratin­g about disinvestm­ent plans, the minister had said the government wanted to sell stake in public sector companies when it would fetch the right price.

“There are already nearly 22-23 such PSUs which have been cleared by the Cabinet for disinvestm­ent. The intent is clear that at least for those which had already been cleared by the Cabinet, we will have to disinvest,” the finance minister had said.

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