"We must monetise our unproductive assets to save PSUs. During my time (as a disinvestment minister) we had discovered that VSNL had 700 acres of prime land in many cities. Now if unproductive assets like these are sold off, it can generate crores in revenue," Shourie said at an event organised by the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) here.
He said that there were seven banks in the country which were heavily burdened with NPAs (non-performing assets).
"They need Rs 400,000 crore for recapitalisation. You can't increase their revenue and you can't decrease their expenditure also," said the former MP adding that full disclosure should be made mandatory for banks.
Without taking name, Shourie said one corporate house in India owed Rs 1,22,000 crore to banks and another one owed Rs 58,000 crore.
On the defence sector, he said the Army's 88 per cent budget went towards paying salaries, pension and other maintenance works, wondering "with this how we are going to modernise our defence forces and face up China".
He said every year tonnes of grains rotted in the open during monsoon "because the Food Corporation of India can then sell it to the liquor industry at cheaper rates".