On Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared Rs 1.75 lakh crore as the disinvestment target for FY 2021-22. This move will help the government fill its reserves which has been impacted badly by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sitharaman stated that two PSBs and one general insurance company would be divested. As per Sitharaman, beginning April 1, strategic sale of Container Corporation, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd, Pawan Hans, IDBI Bank, BPCL, Shipping Corp, Air India among others, would be completed in 2021-22 fiscal year. She further added that she would bring amendments to the existing Act to facilitate LIC IPO in 2021-22.
As per Sitharaman, PSUs in other sectors would be divested except four strategic areas. Last year, by declaring a disinvestment target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore, Sitharaman had surprised everyone. This was three to four times the usual targeted amount. As per Finance Ministry data, through minority stake sale in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and share buybacks, the total disinvestment receipts so far have amounted to Rs 17,957.7 crore. In September 2020, the government had explained that out of the 34 PSUs permitted for disinvestment so far, transactions were finished for eight. For four PSUs, transactions were stopped as they are recommended for closure.
Apart from this, two of them were held up due to litigation. On the other hand, transactions for 20 PSUs are in the process. This year all eyes are set on the government’s disinvestment of Air India, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Shipping Corporation of India. This is because these deals have the potential to fetch a handsome amount. For the last 20 years, the disinvestment process of Air India has been pending.