New Privatisation Policy: Why The Shipping Ministry Wanted To Stay Strategic

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India’s shipping ministry—led by minister Mansukh Mandaviya—made a strong case for the sector to be tagged as “strategic” under the Narendra Modi government’s new privatisation policy.

The ministry was one of seven departments that asked to be kept on the strategic sectors list and submitted a comprehensive report making its case, show documents accessed by BloombergQuint. The case was argued out in a July 24 communication, which included a 30-page report titled ‘Shipping As A Strategic Sector For India And Strategic Importance of SCI’. The response was approved by Mandaviya.

In the strategic sectors, the government wants to keep a “bare minimum presence”, while in other sectors all units may be considered for privatisation.

The documents are part of a series of communications between the finance ministry’s Department of Investment And Public Asset Management and different ministries starting July 2020, which culminated in a cabinet note dated Jan. 23. These documents were accessed by BloombergQuint through the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Queries sent to Mandaviya’s office on March 19 remained unanswered. DIPAM officials declined to comment and queries emailed remained unanswered.

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