PSU stake sale soon: FM

But majority share will remain with government

PSU stake sale soon: FM


“My ministry (Department of Disinvestment)has initiated discussions with other ministries and departments for identifying the PSUs where a portion of government shareholding can be sold and for issue of fresh equity to meet their funds requirements,” he said while winding up a 14-hour-long discussion on the General Budget in the Lok Sabha.

The details were being worked out and would be announced in due course, he hinted.

Mukherjee said: “It is our intention to enable the PSUs to benefit from techno-managerial efficiencies and become more competitive in the market.”

By outlining the objective of PSU disinvestment, Mukherjee hinted there would be no diversion of funds from the National Investment Fund (NIF), into which the proceeds from disinvestment of government equity in the central PSUs are channelised to meet day-to-day expenditure.

The finance minister  said the government would encourage people’s participation in the disinvestment programme while retaining at least 51 per cent equity in the PSUs.
“What the President stated about PSU disinvestment is the government policy and I reiterate it,”he said.

While taking note of the fall in the Sensex immediately after the Budget presentation, Mukjherjee said: “There was some disappointment in the Budget not coming out with any such road map (for disinvestment). But it was not necessary for the Budget to come out with such road map.”

Tax reforms

Mukherjee declared the government’s intention to push forward with reforms in the tax regime by introducing the goods and service tax(GST)from April 1, 2010.

“The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers is working on the modalities for introducing GST, which will boost overall tax revenue,”he said while seeking cooperation from all states to push this crucial tax reform.

On the other crucial issue of growing government borrowing, Mukherjee declared that his government would raise funds through open market operation and would not monetise borrowings.

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