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Govt brings DPE under Finance Ministry to facilitate disinvestment plan

Ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle, the Centre has brought the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) within the purview of the Ministry of Finance

Govt brings DPE under Finance Ministry to facilitate disinvestment plan
Govt brings DPE under Finance Ministry to facilitate disinvestment plan
  • According to sources, the decision to merge DPE with the Ministry of Finance has been taken in order to make co-ordination between DPE and DIPAM easier
  • At the time it was conceived, the DPE used to be part of the Ministry of Finance as Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)

New Delhi: Ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle, the Centre has brought the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) within the purview of the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday. Prior to the reorganisation, the DPE was part of the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. The Ministry of Finance will now have six departments — Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Expenditure, Department of Revenue, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Department of Financial Services and DPE.

A Cabinet Secretariat note said, “Ministry of Finance (Vitta Mantralaya), after the sub-heading (v) Department of Financial Services (Vittiya Sewayen Vibhag), following sub-heading shall be inserted, namely:- (vi) Department of Public Enterprises (Lok Udyam Vibhag).” A gazette notification issued in this regard said that these rules will be called the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Three Hundred and Sixty First Amendment Rules, 2021. “They shall come into force at once,” the notification added.

‘Merging DPE with Finance Ministry aimed at facilitating disinvestment plan’

According to sources who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity, the decision to merge DPE with the Ministry of Finance has been taken in order to make co-ordination between DPE and DIPAM easier. The sources added that the move is aimed at facilitating the government’s ambitious disinvestment plan. 

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Under the new public sector policy unveiled in Budget 2021-22, the Centre plans to retain between one to four PSUs in strategic sectors and disinvest, privatise or merge the rest. The policy is the biggest disinvestment plan in India’s history. For FY22, the government has announced a disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

History of DPE

At the time it was conceived, the DPE used to be part of the Ministry of Finance. In their 52nd Report, the Estimates Committee of the third Lok Sabha (1962-67) highlighted the need for setting up a centralised coordinating unit for undertaking performance appraisal of the performance of PSUs. Consequently, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was set up in 1965 under the Ministry of Finance. Later, as a result of the reorganisation of the ministries/departments in September 1985, BPE was made part of the Ministry of Industry. In May 1990, BPE was made a full-fledged Department known as the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE). 

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