The Centre on Tuesday told Parliament that the profitability or loss of a central public sector enterprise (CPSE) is not a relevant criterion for taking a decision on its divestment.
Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, minister of state for finance Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad said, "In February 2021, the government has, notified the New Public Sector Enterprise ("PSE") policy. Profitability/ loss of the CPSE is not a relevant criterion for disinvestment."
As of March 31, 2020, as many as 171 CPSEs in the country are profit making, while 84 are loss making, the minister said.
Replying to another question enquiring about the government's plan to disinvest or lease out state-owned HLL Biotech Limited, Karad said there is no such proposal to disinvest the company.
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"...HLL Lifecare Ltd in January 2021 invited expression of interest from vaccine/ pharmaceutical manufactures for use of HBL's existing facilities at Integrated Vaccine Complex (IVC), Chengalpattu on "as is where basis" for production of COVID-19/ other vaccines. The extended date of submission of bid ended on 21st May 2021. No party submitted bid," the minister informed.
The chief minister of Tamil Nadu, with a letter dated May 26, 2021, expressed interested in taking over the IVC project, he said.
In her Budget speech for 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a big-ticket privatisation agenda, including privatisation of two public sector banks and one general insurance company, to garner Rs 1.75 lakh crore from stake sale in public sector companies and financial institutions during the year.
As part of the divestment strategy for the financial sector, the government has decided to go for a mega initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and residual stake sale in IDBI Bank during FY22.
Besides, the strategic sale of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Shipping Corp, Container Corporation, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd, Pawan Hans, Air India, among others, is also planned during the year.
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