Friday, October 7, 2022

Govt planning sale of PSUs in non-priority sector

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New Delhi: Chasing a disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh crores for financial year 2019-20, the government is looking at strategic sale of PSUs in non-priority sector, a senior bureaucrat at the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said. “The government is looking at potential strategic stake sales in the non-priority sector. The government has asked Niti Aayog to identify companies which can be privatised,” said Dheeraj Bhatnagar, Additional Secretary at DIPAM.

‘Govt will ensure sale of PSUs doesn’t lead to value erosion’

Bhatanagar said that the government will ensure that the strategic sale of PSUs does not lead to any value erosion. “We are not going to divest at distressed valuations at any cost,” he said. Commenting on the listing plans, the bureaucrat said that 11 PSUs have been identified. Sources have said that a proposal to disinvest the government’s stake in Air India is in the works and is expected to be concluded this year.

Sources also said that the government is looking at selling its minority stakes in companies such as Hindustan Zinc and Vedanta. It is also said to be mulling SUUTI stake sales in private companies.

Govt could disinvest non-core assets

The government is also considering the sale of huge land parcels or non-core asset that PSUs have been holding on their books. “These non-core assets can be possibly hived off into separate entities,” Bhatnagar said.

However, sources said that monetising land parcels can pose challenges if there is no clarity on the land titles. “Some of these land parcels are quite old and clarity on land title may become an issue,” a source said.
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In case of the sale of mining PSUs, the process could be long-drawn as it would also involve state governments that have certain ownership over the mining regions.

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