Government has 'no business to be in business': PM Modi announces plans to privatise 100 PSUs

Government has no business to be in business, plans to privatise 100 PSUs

Government has 'no business to be in business': PM Modi announces plans to privatise 100 PSUs

The government has "no business" to be in business, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday in a clear push for disinvestment and privatization of public sector undertakings (PSUs). The PM made the remarks during a webinar on privatisation by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)."It is the government's duty to support enterprises and businesses. But it is not essential that it should own and run enterprises," PM Modi said. He went on to add, "There was a different time when public sector enterprises were established and the needs were also different."

Speaking on the Budget 2021-22, the Prime Minister said Centre's fiscal plan has given a clear roadmap to take India to a high growth trajectory. "There is always scope to reform the policy which was good 50-60 years ago. Now when we are bringing reform, our aim is to optimally utilise public money," he added.

PM Modi went on to say, "We cannot continue with public entities just because they have been operational for so long. The government's focus should be on the welfare of society and policies related to people. It sounds like misusing the talent of our officers to keep them in the business operation of public entities."

Mapping the Centre's plan to privatise all PSUs, with the exception of four strategic sectors, the Prime Minister said his government has decided to monetize 100 such entities valued at Rs 2.5 lakh crore.

Our focus is to monetize and then modernize. The private sector brings modern technology, a change in the management mindset and creates more efficient jobs. This can increase in efficiency of the system," PM Narendra Modi said during the webinar.

He goes on to add that the money coming from this monetization will be utilized to enhance rural connectivity, supply safe drinking water and make provisions for cheap housing.

WHEN THE NARENDRA MODI GOVERNMENT came to power in 2014, one of its more memorable slogans was ‘minimum government, maximum governance’, a pledge to reduce the size and business footprint of government. In one area in particular, it has little to show on this count: the divestment of PSUs (public sector undertakings). Though it has regularly set ambitious revenue targets, totalling Rs 6.57 lakh crore since 2014-15, it has fallen short year after year, achieving Rs 4.04 lakh crore as of 2020-21. The figures for this past fiscal year were particularly bad, with disinvestment revenues of Rs 31,000 crore against a target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore.

India is in a position where it must be less sentimental about PSU sales,” says Tuhin Kanta Pandey, DIPAM secretary, the man in charge of pushing the divestment agenda. “This will require dynamism from the private sector, we want more people to compete.” This no doubt refers to the private sector’s lukewarm response to the Modi government’s disinvestment programmes so far. Noting how crucial PSU sales are in the current context, MP and chairperson of the standing committee on finance, Jayant Sinha, says, “This is a defining moment for disinvestment and privatisation of public assets.

HIGHLIGHTS :-

1)Our aim is to optimally utilise public money: PM Modi

2) Prime Minister said the Budget has given a clear roadmap to take India to a high growth trajectory

3) We can't continue with public entities just because they have been operational for so long, PM Modi added