Govt to go ahead with divestment of 23 PSUs cleared by Cabinet: Sitharaman

She said this would lead to consolidation of public sector undertakings (PSUs) as well as scaling up of their operations.
The government is working on completing the stake sale process of about 23 public sector companies whose divestment has already been cleared by the Cabinet, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.

The minister also said she would soon meet small finance firms and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to review the credit being extended by them to businesses.

Sitharaman, in a conversation with Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Kant Munjal, said the government as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package had announced opening up of all sectors for private participation.

"The final call as to which are the sectors which are going to be called 'strategic' is not made yet, that has to be announced and I can't preempt what announcement is likely to come.

"But in those sectors which we are going to call strategic, the private will obviously be allowed to come in but the public sectors will be limited to a maximum of four units," she said.

She said this would lead to consolidation of public sector undertakings (PSUs) as well as scaling up of their operations.

Talking about disinvestment plans, the minister said the government wants to sell stakein public sector companies at a time when it fetches 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," Sitharaman said.

For 2020-21 fiscal, the government has set a disinvestment target of Rs 2.10 trillion. Of this, Rs 1.20 trillion will come from disinvestment of public sector undertakings and another Rs 90,000 crore from stake sale in financial institutions.

With regard to extending credit to the industry, Sitharaman said under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can avail loans.

As of July 23, 2020, the total amount sanctioned under the 100 per cent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by public and private sector banks stands at Rs 1,30,491.79 crore, of which Rs 82,065.01 crore has already been disbursed.

"Now I am pushing the banks saying that it's not their risk, we have taken the risk on ourselves, they should now facilitate the process...

"We have very clearly told banks that they are not going to sit on the judgement of anybody's viability. Now it is the question of giving them resources, hand holding them so that they survive," Sitharaman added.


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel