Govt sets ball rolling on asset monetisation; these PSUs are on the list: Sources

  • So far, the list of PSUs who may be asked to go for asset monetisation include IOC, GAIL, DMRC and Kolkata Metro, DFCCIL and NHAI, say sources

  • Sources said that PowerGrid has been asked to monetise transmission lines worth Rs 20,000 crore in two phases

New Delhi: If word from the corridors is to be believed, the government seems to have set the ball rolling on asset monetisation in the PSU sector. Multiple sources in the government, who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity, have said that Niti Aayog has already identified assets owned by PSUs for monetisation and the list is now being vetted by various ministries. So far, the list of PSUs who may be asked to go for asset monetisation include Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Kolkata Metro, Dedicated Freight Corridor and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said sources.

This would be in addition to the Railways, where the government has already started the process for seeking participation from the private sector in running trains and for redevelopment of metro stations. 

PowerGrid to monetise transmission lines worth Rs 20,000 crore: Sources

Sources said that PowerGrid has been asked to monetise transmission lines worth Rs 20,000 crore in two phases. This has emerged in the backdrop of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) granting a nod to the Maharatna PSU for monetisation of assets through Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model. 

Also read: Cabinet okays PowerGrid InvIT; assets worth Rs 7,000 cr to be monetised

GAIL, IOC pipelines to be monetised

This is a plan which has been in the pipeline for a long time. PSU Watch had reported in 2019 that Indian Oil was considering asset monetisation of its pipelines. Sources have now claimed that things on this front have started moving. This comes as the government has been trying to open the gas distribution market and bring in more players in order to push the share of natural gas in the economy to 15 percent by 2030.

Also read: Video confirms Indian Oil looking at asset monetisation of pipelines

In addition, highway bundles of 6,000 Km have also been identified for monetisation, said sources. 

Core group of Secretaries to take call on asset monetisation

The Core Group of Secretaries for Asset Monetisation (CGAM) is already vetting the list prepared by Niti Aayog of state-owned assets that can be monetised. In addition, various ministries have also been asked to identify such assets and share the list with CGAM. According to an official notification from Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) dated April 22, 2019, the CGAM consists of the Cabinet Secretary, Economic Affairs Secretary, Revenue Secretary, Expenditure Secretary, DIPAM Secretary, DPE Secretary, Corporate Affairs Secretary, Legal Affairs Secretary, and the Secretary of the concerned administrative department.

Is asset monetisation same as disinvestment?

According to DIPAM, “Asset monetisation involves creation of new sources of revenue by unlocking of value of hitherto unutilised public assets… Many public assets are sub-optimally utilised and could be appropriately monetised to create greater financial leverage and value for the companies and of the equity that the government has invested in them.” The process is categorised under the broad definition of disinvestment. However, it does not lead to any changes in the shareholding pattern. The amount received by the government from asset monetisation is counted as disinvestment proceed. For FY21, the Centre is planning to raise Rs 2.10 lakh crore from disinvestment.

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