Niti Aayog readies list of over 50 CPSE assets for sale

NEW DELHI: In what could set the stage for big-ticket asset monetisation, Niti Aayog has identified more than 50 assets including land and industrial plants of state-owned enterprises NTPC, Cement Corporation of India, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. and Steel Authority of India Ltd. that could be put on the block. “We are looking at asset monetisation,” a government official said, adding that Niti Aayog has sent a list to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

The official said the list will help the administrative ministries or the public sector companies to kickstart the sale process.

The list was drawn up by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant in consultation with the secretaries of nodal ministries. “We will keep coming up with new lists as and when required over the course of time,” another official said. The official said NTPC’s Badarpur plant, which is closed, has about 400 acres of land. Among the other assets are brownfield projects of companies including SAIL.

The government raised Rs 2,350 crore in the first two months of the current financial year, for which a disinvestment target of Rs 90,000 crore has been set. In 2018-19, it raised Rs 84,972.16 crore against the budgeted target of Rs 80,000 crore.

Earlier, DIPAM had identified some assets that were hived off from companies such as Scooters India, Bharat Pumps & Compressors, Project & Development India, Hindustan Prefab, Hindustan Newsprint, Bridge & Roof Co. and Hindustan Fluorocarbons. These firms are now up for strategic sale. In February, the cabinet had cleared the institutional framework for monetisation of non-core assets of state-owned companies under strategic disinvestment.

This included setting up of a ministerial panel led by the finance minister to oversee disinvestment and restructuring among public enterprises. Earlier this month, ET reported that the government will soon reactivate the ministerial panel, called the alternate mechanism.

Once the panel approves monetisation of an asset, the process must be completed within a year. It will be part of the annual memorandum of understanding that a state-owned company signs with the government.

The government has approval for the strategic sale of 24 companies including Air India.

Source: The Economic Times