Cabinet Said To Consider New Public Sector Enterprises Policy Soon

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The Union Cabinet will soon consider new public sector enterprises policy that will define strategic sectors, which will not have more than four PSUs, finance ministry official sources said on Tuesday.

As part of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ package, the government in May had announced that there will be a maximum of four public sector companies in the strategic sectors, and state-owned firms in other segments will eventually be privatised.

Under the policy, a list of strategic sectors will be notified where there will be at least one and a maximum of four public sector enterprise, apart from private sector companies.

In other sectors, central public sector enterprises will be privatised, depending on the feasibility.

According to the sources, it is before the Cabinet and it will be taken up soon.

“PSEs will continue to play an important role in defined areas. We need a coherent policy because sometimes you open up some sectors in piecemeal… Now we shall define the areas… where their presence will be impactfully felt,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said while announcing the package in May.

On the privatisation of banks, the sources said the government is going as per the plan as far as the strategic sale of government stake in IDBI Bank is concerned.

The government currently owns a 46.5% stake in IDBI Bank. In January 2019, LIC completed the acquisition of 51% controlling stake in the lender. The state-owned life insurer infused Rs 21,624 crore into the bank.

Sitharaman in the budget had proposed plans for the sale of the government’s remaining stake in IDBI Bank.

Besides, the sources said, the government is on course as far as initial public offering of insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation is concerned.

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management is looking at the timing of the LIC listing.

The government aims to garner Rs 90,000 crore from the listing of LIC and stake dilution in IDBI Bank, out of total the disinvestment target of Rs 2.10 lakh crore during the current fiscal.

The government currently owns 100% in LIC.

The sources also said there is no plan to cut additional excise duty levied on petroleum products following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

The government in May hiked excise duty by a record Rs 10 per litre on petrol and Rs 13 per litre on diesel to garner Rs 1.6 lakh crore additional revenue to meet revenue shortfall due to Covid-19 pandemic.

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