The government, which has turned its focus to privatisation of public sector undertakings (PSUs) to raise resources and exit non-strategic sectors, may bring down the number of such companies to about two dozen from over 300 currently.
The Union Cabinet will take a final call on the number of PSUs that will be allowed to operate, based on the recommendations by NITI Aayog, The Times of India reported quoting government sources.
As part of the 'AtmaNirbhar Bharat' package, announced after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the government had said it will classify PSUs into strategic and non-strategic sectors, and exit from non-strategic sectors.
Giving details about the policy in her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has classified atomic energy, space and defence; transport and telecommunications; power, petroleum, coal and other minerals; and banking, insurance and financial services as the strategic sectors.
"In strategic sectors, there will be bare minimum presence of the public sector enterprises. The remaining CPSEs in the strategic sector will be privatised or merged or subsidiarized with other CPSEs or closed," as per the policy. Besides, the central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) in non-strategic sectors will also be privatised or closed.
"To fast forward the disinvestment policy, I am asking NITI to work out on the next list of Central Public Sector companies that would be taken up for strategic disinvestment," Sitharaman had said.
The Centre will also come out with an incentive package to encourage states to undertake disinvestment of their public sector companies, she had said.
"In order to ensure timely completion of closure of sick or loss making CPSEs, we will introduce a revised mechanism that will ensure timely closure of such units," the finance minister had announced.
The government has set a target of raising Rs 1.75 lakh crore from disinvestment in 2021-22.