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DIPAM and NITI Aayog holds meeting for discussing PSU disinvestment

Setting the ball rolling on strategic sale of state-owned companies, DIPAM and NITI Aayog have started discussions to identify the PSUs that can be sold outright during the next fiscal.

Disinvestment-AV“We want to plan early so that these sales can be staggered through next fiscal. DIPAM Secretary and senior officials of NITI Aayog have held the first meeting for identification of PSUs,” a government official said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in the Union Budget 2016-17 speech that NITI Aayog will identify Public Sector Units that would be eligible for strategic sale.

“The meeting discussed some of the possible candidates for outright sale and more meetings would be held for taking it further. We do not want to wait for next fiscal to begin the process,” the official said.

In order to revive strategic stake sale of PSUs, the Department of Disinvestment, which was carved out of the Finance Ministry in 1999, has been renamed as the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

The government has budgeted to raise Rs 20,500 crore through strategic stake sale in PSUs.

With no strategic stake sale policy being in place, the government could not in the current fiscal privatise any PSU. But now a Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment or CGD on strategic sale has been set up.

Further, the government is in the process of appointing Independent External Monitors (IEM) to oversee the strategic disinvestment process and also settle grievances, if any.

The government last week came out with a policy for strategic sale of PSUs wherein a Cabinet Secretary-headed inter-ministerial panel will look into the recommendations made by the NITI Aayog and advice the Cabinet on mode and quantum of disinvestment.

It would also lay down guidelines for evaluation by Evaluation Committee as well as recommend the terms and conditions of sale including transaction document, the price of sale and the strategic partner. It would also supervise and monitor the process of implementation of CCEA decisions on strategic disinvestment.

Appointment of intermediaries such as merchant bankers and legal advisors for the disinvestment would be done by an inter-ministerial group with DIPAM Secretary as its head.

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