New Delhi: "In order to bring in financial autonomy, facilitate people’s ownership and improve the efficiency through accountability towards its stakeholders, the disinvestment in Defence PSUs has been done, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt told Rajya Sabha on Monday. "Disinvestment also provides an opportunity to the citizens to participate in the wealth and prosperity of these organisations," he added.
In 2018 govt owned 100 percent equity in the shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) which has been brought down to 74.50 percent. Similarly, 100 percent ownership in Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) has also been brought down to 74 percent. Govt disinvestment of MDL in 2020 and the 100 percent ownership is now 84.83 percent, Ajay Bhatt told in a written reply to the member of parliament M Shanmugam in Rajya Sabha. Govt owned 89.97 percent shares of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which has been brought down to 75.15 percent. Similarly, the govt's ownership in Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was 66.79 percent which is now 51.14 percent. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) shares have also been disinvested from 87.75 percent to 74.93 percent.
Currently, govt owns a little above 54 percent shares in the defence PSU BEML Ltd which is being disinvested.
Defence PSUs being jazzed up
Defence PSUs under the Department of Defence Production have modernized their infrastructure, created new capacities and have developed a robust supply chain in the form of an extensive vendor base to ensure the production of defence equipment, the Minister said. Additionally, to enhance functional autonomy, efficiency, unleash new growth potential and innovation in Ordnance Factories, Government has approved the corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board into 7 Defence PSUs, he added. Besides this, there are 9 DPSUs including shipyards & 542 Defence licensees in the private sector which contribute to the Defence production within the country to meet emergency requirements.
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