Budget sets divestment target of Rs.56,500 crore

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The government aims to garner Rs.56,500 crore through disinvestment in state-run undertakings in the next fiscal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.

Presenting the Budget 2016-17 proposals in parliament, Jaitley said of the total budget estimates, Rs.36,000 crore is estimated to come from minority stake sale in public sector undertakings (PSUs), while the balance Rs.20,500 crore will come from strategic sale in both profit and loss-making units.

For the current fiscal, the finance minister pegged the divestment receipts from minority stake sale in PSUs at Rs.25,312 crore as against the target of Rs.69,500 crore.

Volatile market conditions have impacted the government’s disinvestment plan this fiscal and it has so far sold stakes in 6 PSUs – Rural Electrification Corporation (Rs.1,608 crore), Power Finance Corporation (Rs.1,671 crore), Dredging Corporation of India (Rs.53.33 crore), Indian Oil (Rs.9,369 crore), Engineers India Ltd (Rs.640 crore) and, most recently, NTPC (Rs.5,030 crore).

Jaitley also announced that the Department of Disinvestment would be renamed as the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management.

He said central PSUs are being encouraged to divest assets in order to raise resources for new projects

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