'Divestment funds to go for capex'


Addressing the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Ministry of Disinvestment Secretary Sunil Mitra said finance  crunch has forced the government to use sale proceeds of PSU shares during 2009-12  for carrying out capital expenditure programmes in the PSUs.

Earlier, the interest amount accrued from the corpus of National Investment Fund, raised from the proceeds of divestment, was used for investment in the social sector as also for capital expenditure.

About 75 per cent of interest amount was used for social sector expenditure like mid-day meal, and the rest for capital expenditure like restructuring sick PSUs. “Now the fund would be used directly for capital expenditure for three years,” he added.
Stating  that Sebi has given permission to sell 65 per cent of shares of PSUs, which were to be divested, through auctions, he said it might also introduce a cap for respective institutions for buying maximum number of shares.

Between 1991 and 2009, the Centre, he said, had raised a total of Rs 58,000 crore from disinvestment of shares of PSUs, of which Rs 37,000 crore had been raised through minority sales and rest from strategic sales, including bundle sales.

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