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PM Modi explains how govt will use funds from privatisation & asset monetisation for welfare

Noting that the government has 'no business to be in business', PM Modi said pointed out how government officials are unable to take courageous decisions fearing allegations and courts.

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New Delhi: The government’s ambitious privatisation and asset monetisation roadmap announced in this year’s Union Budget will provide funds to build houses for the poor, open schools, provide clean drinking water and help construct roads in villages, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday.

The renewed pitch comes as the government tries to overcome opposition from various corners including employee unions, state governments and political parties who are firmly against the Centre’s plan to privatise many sectors.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management on Budget announcements on privatisation, Modi said, “The government has no business to be in business,” and pointed out how government officials are unable to take courageous decisions fearing allegations and courts.

The webinar was attended by secretaries of various government departments and heads of many private firms and financial institutions.

“Money from asset monetisation and privatisation will be used for social welfare schemes … will be used to build houses for the poor, build schools, construct roads in villages, provide clean drinking water etc,” he said. “Every decision on privatisation and monetisation will help in empowering Indians,” he added.

National asset monetisation

Modi also talked about how the national asset monetisation pipeline announced in the Budget will help in effective utilisation of government’s assets.

“There are many underutilised assets under the government … The aim is to monetise 100 assets. There will be an investment opportunity of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. This will be carried forward in the future as well,” he said, adding that the government’s agenda has been to ‘monetise or modernise’.

In this year’s Budget, the government announced it will maintain only a bare minimum presence in the four strategic sectors and all central public sector enterprises in other sectors will be privatised. It had also charted out an aggressive asset monetisation pipeline for different government departments. These include monetising road and power transmission assets, dedicated freight corridor, airports, sports stadiums, operational toll roads, oil and gas pipelines of state-owned firms and warehousing assets like those of the NAFED and Central Warehousing Corporation.

The PM also made a pitch for investors to start operations in Gift city in Gujarat, saying that it will provide an advantageous base for investors.

Also read: How Modi govt can finally meet its ambitious ‘privatisation’ target


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