Bid for ailing PSUs, FM to India Inc

New Delhi, Oct 28 | Updated: Oct 29 2004, 05:44am hrs
Finance minister P Chidambaram asked India Inc to actively participate in the countrys disinvestment process. Corporates can team up with public sector undertakings to jointly bid for ailing PSUs, he said.

Delivering the inaugural address at CIIs annual national conference on Thursday, the minister said a Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) would soon be set up to facilitate disinvestment. BRPSE will take up some companies for their restructuring, while some will look for private strategic joint ventures. Some companies will be closed down or sold, he said.

This would provide a huge opportunity to India Inc, Mr Chidambaram said. While the government would provide public funds for the social sector, the private sector should fill the space in sectors like steel, coal, IT and telecom, he said.

The space (for private sector) has enlarged in the last six months and I want you (India Inc) to occupy it aggressively, the minister said. India Inc should also step up investment in the agriculture sector, he added.

Urging the private sector to step up investment, Mr Chidambaram said that the gross capital formation has dipped by 2% since 1995-96 when it touched 27.3%. We have to raise it to 27.3% and then over 30% in the near future, he said.

The proposed Investment Commission would play a proactive role in attracting investment from within the country as well as outside. He said it would be headed by and composed of persons from India Inc and not by bureaucrats. One of you will indeed be the chairman of the new commission, he said, inviting young professionals to join the commission for two-to-three years.

The commission would travel to all parts of India and outside to attract investors, he said. It would assist India Inc in unlocking the huge capital in unproductive assets. We must show results in the next four to five years, he added.