Niti Aayog will prepare the next list of central public sector companies for disinvestment in the next few weeks, its Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday and expressed hope that the proposed asset reconstruction and management companies to address banks' bad loan woes will do a good job like the UTI.
Days after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Union Budget for 2021-22 laying out various measures (including disinvestment proposals) to bolster the pandemic-hit economy, Kumar also emphasised that the Modi government has shown consistent commitment for the welfare of farmers and for the improvement of the agriculture sector.
"Now the process has begun… We will complete preparation of the next list in the next few weeks, we have got the marching order," Kumar said about the list of public sector companies for the next round of stake sales. To fast track the disinvestment process, Sitharaman, in her Budget speech on Monday, said Niti Aayog would work out on the next list of central public sector companies that would be taken up for strategic disinvestment.
The government think tank has already given five different sets of recommendations on disinvestment. On the government's proposal to set up an asset reconstruction company and an asset management company to clean up non-performing assets in the banking sector, Kumar said that was necessary to get the banks to start lending again as they were mired in so-called twin balance sheet problem.
"Otherwise, it would have taken very long to clean up the bank balance sheet, or taken a huge amount of capital for getting it done," he told PTI, adding that the alternative was to try and take these non-performing loans out of banks' balance sheets. "Hopefully, (proposed) asset reconstruction company and asset management company will do the same good job that the UTI (Unit Trust of India) did at one point of time.
"And help us to restart the process of greater credit flows from the banking sector to the real sector of the economy," he told .