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BIG STORY                                                             February 26, 2021  |        The Indian Eye                          5

        >> Continued from previous page...   Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing the 36th PRAGATI meeting in New    of public sector undertakings
        focus  should  on  people’s wel-                         Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)                      (PSUs) to raise resources and
        fare and development schemes                                                                                  exit non-strategic sectors, may
        and it has “no business to be in  in line with Prime Minister Na- has been given by the govern- bring down the number of such
        business”, Prime Minister Nar- rendra Modi’s approach to the  ment in this regard so far, but  companies to about two dozen
        endra Modi on Wednesday said  economy  and in line  with the  in another report recently it was  from over 300 currently.
        the government is going ahead  Jan Sangh and Bharatiya Ja- claimed that the government is                         The Union Cabinet will
        with the mantra of “monetise  nata Party’s belief that “Indian  working on a plan to privatize  take a final call on the number
        and modernise” and decisions  entrepreneurs should be given  about half a dozen banks in the  of PSUs that will be allowed to
        related to asset monetisation  maximum opportunity”.                     country.                             operate, based on the recom-
        and privatisation will help in          Her statement comes a day            The government wants to  mendations by NITI Aayog,
        empowering citizens.                 after the Prime Minister em- start  this  process  of  privatiza- The Times of India reported
            “The money comes from  phasised the private sector’s vi- tion of banks at a time when the  quoting government sources.
        assets monetisation and priva- tal role in the economy and said  country’s major state-run banks                  As part of the ‘AtmaNirbhar
        tisation is being used to build  the culture of ‘abusing’ it for  are struggling with the NPA  Bharat’ package, announced af-
        houses for the poor, making  votes was no longer acceptable. crisis.  However,  the  situation  ter the outbreak of the corona-
        roads in villages, opening new          The Narendra Modi gov- regarding privatization process  virus pandemic, the government
        schools, providing clean water  ernment at the Centre has ac- is still not completely clear and  had said it will classify PSUs
        etc. Every decision related to  celerated the privatisation pro- the government is constantly  into strategic and non-strategic
        asset monetisation and privati- cess of at least 4 major state-run  discussing in this regard.                sectors, and exit from non-stra-
        sation will help in empowering  banks in the country. The gov-               Modi’s speech at the webi- tegic sectors.
        citizens whether  they  belong  ernment holds a large stake in  nar on Wednesday the imple-                       Giving details about the pol-
        to the middle class or poor or  Punjab and Sindh Bank, Bank  mentation of the Budget more  icy in her Budget speech, Fi-
        farmer or labourers,” he added. of Maharashtra, UCO Bank  than built upon his strong push  nance Minister Nirmala Sitha-
            The Prime Minister said  and IDBI Bank and now wants  for privatisation and private en- raman said the government has
        that the Union Budget provides  to  sell  it.  The  central  govern- terprise in Parliament earlier  classified atomic energy, space
        a clear roadmap to take India  ment’s plan is to privatise many  this month. It also marked the  and defence; transport and tele-
        on a high growth trajectory.         state-owned banks and fund a  hardening of what appeared to  communications; power, petro-
            Recently, Finance minister  big budget by selling stakes in  be an opportunistic push war- leum, coal and other minerals;
        Nirmala Sitharaman said the  some banks.                                 ranted by the pandemic into a  and banking, insurance and fi-
        government will reach out to all        The reason for this is that  strong belief, with Modi stress- nancial services as the strategic
        stakeholders on privatisation of  the government banks are fac- ing that the government has no  sectors.
        state-owned enterprises to re- ing financial crisis due to the de- business to be in business at all.             “In strategic sectors, there
        assure that their interests, such  crease in tax collection. A letter  Rather, he went a step further  will be bare minimum presence
        as pensions, are safeguarded.  was written to the Finance Min- and argued for the elimination  of the public sector enterprises.
        The finance minister said there  istry from the PM office earlier  of the government’s role in cit- The remaining CPSEs in the
        was a directional shift in the  this month, in which these 4  izen’s life being restricted to  strategic sector will be priva-
        budget in that it recognises that  banks in this financial year are  only those spheres where it was  tised or merged or subsidiarized
        government alone cannot be  said to complete the process of  essential.  “Government’s  ab- with other CPSEs or closed,” as
        the stimulator of the economy  privatization.                            sence should not be felt in areas  per the policy. Besides, the cen-
        and, therefore, involved the pri-       The source said that the pro- where it is needed, but its influ- tral public sector enterprises
        vate  sector  in  every  major  an- cess of privatization of banks  ence should not be felt in other  (CPSEs) in non-strategic sec-
        nouncement.                          has started and it is being dis- spheres.”                               tors will also  be privatised or
            This directional shift in the  cussed by the government. Al-             The government, which has  closed.
        budget in terms of policy was  though  no  official  information  turned its focus to privatisation              Continued on next page... >>

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