Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made a strong case for the government’s new privatisation policy, saying it is moving ahead with a mantra of ‘monetise and modernise.’
Addressing a webinar on ‘Privatisation and Asset Monetisation’, the Prime Minister reiterated that the “government has no business being in business” while adding that the new National Asset Monetisation pipeline will unlock investment opportunities worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore for the private sector. A National Asset Monetisation pipeline will aim to monetise 100 assets, he said. These are in sectors ranging from oil, gas, ports, airports and power.
The webinar was attended by international investors from North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, sovereign and pension funds, investment bankers, advisors and top officials from government departments, including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Below are some of the highlights of the Prime Minister’s speech:
- We have made it clear in the new public sector enterprise policy that government will have limited role in only four strategic sectors and all other public sector units can be privatised.
- We have moved away from the annual disinvestment target regime to a medium-term strategic approach. The new policy will lay down a clear roadmap for all sectors.
- We need a detailed roadmap to execute the new policy with proper price discovery.
- It is the responsibility of the government to give full support to businesses. But it is not necessary that the government itself runs enterprises and remains the owner.
- Our biggest goal is to ensure public money is utilised appropriately; many state-owned enterprises are loss-making today. There are many under-utilised and unutilised assets under the government’s control.
- When the government monetises, the private sector of the country fills that space. The private sector brings investment and global best practices, leading to modernisation and job creation.
- It is equally important to monitor the process ensure transparency.
- Asset monetisation and privatisation will lead to better job opportunities for the youth.
- The money earned through privatisation will go into welfare programmes.