Batting strongly for government's privatisation and asset monetisation programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called it the need of the hour and said the government has "no business to be in business".
The Union Budget 2021-22 has given a clear roadmap to take India to a high-growth trajectory. There is a focus on strong participation by private sector for India's development in the Budget, while scope and targets have been laid out clearly for public-private partnership (PPP), Modi said.
Disinvestment and asset monetisation is an important part of the Budget, the Prime Minister said while speaking at a webinar on effective implementation of Budget provisions, organised by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).
Saying that the time and needs of the country were different when public sector enterprises (PSEs) were started, Modi said there is always a scope for improvement in policies designed 50-60 years ago, and the intention behind reforms announced in Budget is to ensure proper usage of public money.
"Government has no business to be in business, government's focus should be on welfare and developmental schemes. Government resources should be used for welfare works," Modi said, adding that many PSEs are loss making and have to be supported through taxpayers' money.
Talking about the policy for strategic disinvestment, Modi said the government is committed to privatisation of all PSEs, except those in four strategic sectors. Even in strategic sectors, the presence of PSEs will be bare minimum and as per the need.
He said there are a lot of underutilised and unutilised assets in the country and the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline was announced with this in mind.
The government will monetise about 100 assets in sectors like oil, ports, airports, power, among others, and it is expected that this will create investments of about Rs 2.5 lakh crore, Modi said, adding that the government is moving ahead with the motto of 'modernise and monetise' and it will continue in the future as well.
"The money that comes from monetisation of public assets and privatisation can be used in public welfare schemes. Privatisation would empower the youth with better employment opportunities," the Prime Minister said.
The government is swiftly working on modern infrastructure and multimodal connectivity for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', and will spend Rs 111 lakh crore over the next five years under the 'National Infrastructure Pipeline'. There will be opportunities for private sector investment of about Rs 25 lakh crore in this, Modi said.
India has undertaken unprecedented reforms in FDI policy, and production linked incentive schemes have been introduced to encourage investors. This has resulted in record inflow of FDI in the past few months, Modi said.
Welcoming investors to India, the Prime Minister said the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) can be a good base for them. He also sought feedback and suggestions from investors for preparing a roadmap for speedy implementation of policies announced in the Budget.