Govt Devised A Clear Divestment Strategy: Nirmala

We can ensure that taxpayer money is spent wisely, says Finance Minister

Mumbai, February 7: Rejecting the Opposition’s charge of ‘selling family silver’, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the government has devised a clear divestment strategy for the first time so that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.

She also said the government wants few public sector enterprises in specified sectors to do well, so that we can ensure that taxpayer money is spent wisely. “It is not what the Opposition says about selling family silver, it’s not at all,” she said addressing a meeting of business people here.

The finance minister added, “Family silver should be strengthened, it should be our takat (strength). Because you’ve spread it so thinly, there are many of them (PSUs) that are not able to survive; and the few that can perform do not get the due attention.” She also said the government’s aim is to prime them through this policy. “You need them, you need them to scale up so that they meet the aspirations of growing India.”

Certain classes of public sector entities, like major port trusts, Airport Authority of India, those undertaking security printing and minting, will not fall within the purview of the new PSE policy for strategic disinvestment.

The new Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) policy for Atma Nirbhar Bharat, which classifies public sector commercial enterprises as strategic and non-strategic sector, would be limited to central public sector enterprises, public sector banks and public sector insurance companies.

“The policy, however, does not apply to certain classes of public sector entities such as not-for-profit companies or CPSEs providing support to vulnerable groups or having developmental/promotional roles,” said the scope of the PSE policy announced in the Budget.

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