- A fresh set of potential assets including airports and petroleum pipelines have been identified by various ministries for monetisation
- In a meeting of Core Group of Secretaries (CGAM) on core assets, it was also decided that a Committee headed by Niti Aayog would suggest ways for financial viability of various Metro Rails
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) may organise a presentation on National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)'s InvIT process for all ministries
- The DoT updated the CGAM about various telecom assets and stated that Bharatnet project was being structured on PPP mode to monetise the fibre infrastructure of BBNL
Facing severe revenue shortfall, the Centre has put its asset monetisation plan on fast track with government listing a fresh set of potential projects for private sector. It has decided to offer 6-7 more airports in tier-II and tier-III cities, over and above half a dozen already identified for which a draft cabinet note has been circulated, to private players.
Hit hard by the pandemic, Indian economy is set to degrow in the current fiscal, making it challenging for the government to meet revenue targets. In its estimate, India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) had earlier pegged the Centre's gross revenue shortfall and net tax revenue gap at Rs 4.32 lakh crore and Rs 2.52 lakh crore, respectively. Even as financial position of the government remains tight, economists and policy makers have suggested to scale up public spending to boost growth and jobs.
The new airports up for public-private partnership (PPP) could be Patna, Agartala, Coimbatore, Jammu and Bhopal. Petroleum pipelines of public sector refiners IOCL and HPCL, Kolkata Metro multi-functional complexes and regasification terminals are also under consideration for monetisation.
In a meeting of Core Group of Secretaries (CGAM) on core assets, it was also decided that a Committee headed by Niti Aayog would discuss the issues faced by metro rails across the country and suggest ways for financial viability of these projects. The move assumes significance in the wake of L&T-led Hyderabad Metro struggling to keep operations going. The special purpose vehicle (SPV) is learnt to have sought support from Telangana government to tide over the crisis.
The CGAM headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba wants all the ministries and departments to expedite the asset monetisation exercise and meet the timelines set for each of the projects."It was also decided in the meeting that Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) may organise a presentation on National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)'s InvIT process for all ministries. Niti Aayog could provide guidance to the ministries which are exploring InvIT as a monetisation model," an official source said.
The MoRTH has managed to carry on highway development works at fast pace even as pandemic severely affected construction activities in the first two months of pandemic. During the high-level meeting held last month, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways informed that monetisation of Delhi-Mumbai corridor under securitisation model was also being explored. Besides, two more ToT (toll-operate-transfer) bundles will be structured and completed by March 2021.
"The CGAM appreciated the progress made by MoRTH and observed that other ministries may take note of the models being used for monetisation and the streamlining of process that had been effected by MoRTH so that there is no need to reinvent the wheel," it was observed during the meeting.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) updated the CGAM about various telecom assets and stated that Bharatnet project was being structured on PPP mode to monetise the fibre infrastructure of BBNL (Bharat Broadband Network Ltd).