The government may include some profitable Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) — which are not of much strategic importance — in the the list of entities targeted for disinvestment in 2018, along with sick and loss-making units, a top official has said. The government was so far focussed on strategic sale of sick and loss-making CPSEs. “This (privatisation) process will continue because Niti Aayog has been mandated to see how we can get rid of loss- making CPSEs, and may be even some profit-making CPSEs where we can find a very good buyer or government’s interest is not so relevant,” the official told PTI. The Niti Aayog, the official said, has already recommended a list of 23 PSUs for privatisation which are being looked at by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). “I think they will go to the markets very soon,” he said.
Niti Aayog has been mandated by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to identify the CPSEs for strategic disinvestment. For this purpose, the Aayog has classified CPSEs into ‘high priority’ and ‘low priority’ based on natural security, sovereign function at an arm’s length and market imperfections and public purpose. The CPSEs falling under the low priority are covered for strategic disinvestment.
The government has so far raised Rs 52,500 crore in the current fiscal through PSU disinvestment, including from listing of PSU insurance companies. With Rs 52,500 crore coming in from disinvestment so far this fiscal, the government has exceeded Rs 45,500 crore raised through PSU stake sale last fiscal. The government has budgeted to raise 72,500 crore in 2017-18 through stake sale in PSUs. This includes Rs 46,500 crore from minority stake sale, Rs 15,000 crore from strategic disinvestment and Rs 11,000 crore from listing of PSU insurance companies.