Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur told Lok Sabha on Monday that the government has exceeded the disinvestment target thrice since 2014-15. While the milestone was missed in two fiscals during this period, coronavirus played spoilsport with government's stake sale efforts during financial year 2020-21.
As on March 9, 2021, Centre has received Rs 21,303 crore from disinvestment, which amounts to 67 per cent of the revised estimate for FY21, Thakur further added. He also mentioned that disinvestment target had to be revised to Rs 32,000 crore from the budget estimate of Rs 2.1 lakh crore.
"Disinvestment receipts exceeded the target during 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, while falling short in 2014-15 and 2019-20," Thakur said in his answer.
Government earned Rs 24,349 crore from disinvestment in 2014-15, against revised estimate (RE) of Rs 26,353 crore, but missed the target in 2015-16 at Rs 23,997 crore against RE of Rs 25,314 crore. In 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, Centre earned Rs 46,247 crore against RE of Rs 45,500 crore, Rs 1,00,057 crore against RE of Rs 1,00,000 crore, and Rs 84,972 crore against RE of Rs 80,000 crore, respectively.
It once again missed the disinvestment target in 2019-20, raking in Rs 50,299 crore against the revised estimate of Rs 65,000 crore. In FY21, till March 9, 2021, the government has managed to clock in stake sale receipts to the tune of Rs 21,303 crore as opposed to revised estimate of Rs 32,000 crore.
"Disinvestment of GOI equity in CPSEs depends largely on market sentiment, investor interest, and market valuation of CPSE stocks. Over a period of time, the scope of minority stake sale has declined and strategic disinvestment and privatisation would be the primary mode for disinvestment receipts," clarified Thakur as the reason behind multiple missed disinvestment targets.
In response another part of the question, Thakur blamed uncertainty and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic for turning down the ambitious budget estimate for disinvestment receipt from Rs 2.1 lakh crore to revised estimate of Rs 32,000 crore.
"The volatile market conditions arising due to COVID-19 adversely impacted government's plans for disinvestment. The COVID-19 pandemic and contraction in manufacturing and services post lockdown coupled with uncertainty in financial markets, posed significant challenges before the disinvestment efforts of the government, and delayed transactions both for minority stake sale and strategic disinvestment during large part of FY 2020-21. With the recovery of the stock market subsequently, the disinvestment transactions are coming back on track," he said.
Data presented by Thakur also showed that disinvestment receipts as a proportion of the budget estimates increased during 2014-15 to 2018-19, before declining in 2019-20 reflecting lack of adequate market interest in CPSE stocks.
"Disinvestment is an ongoing process and actual transactions are carried out from time to time depending upon market sentiments and investors interest. The indicative disinvestment targets are fixed every year considering the expected market valuation of the CPSE, investor interest, administrative feasibility and overall economic conditions," the union minister said on steps taken by the Centre to rationalise disinvestment targets considering realistic scenarios and job requirements.