Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before Budget 2021 (file)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before Budget 2021 (file)

On one hand, the government is evaluating its disinvestment targets. On the other hand, the government is looking at monetising various national assets spread across eight ministries — railways; telecom; roads transport and highway; power; youth affairs and sports; civil aviation; petroleum and natural gas; shipping, ports and waterways.

The Niti Aayog is preparing a National Monetisation Pipeline for FY 21-24. It has asked these ministries to identify and share information on the assets to be included in the pipeline.

According to the report by The Indian Express, the government has lined up plans to monetise assets including roads, electricity transmission, oil and gas pipelines, and telecom towers, sports stadia, and other assets. In addition, the government has plans to award the 150 passenger trains to private players; divestment of the equity stake of Airports Authority of India in the joint ventures that operate the Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad airports; and leasing out stadiums such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the national capital, the newspaper quoted.

According to sources, the Ministry of Railways sets a target of Rs 90,000 crore through asset monetisation in 2021-22 by awarding 150 passenger trains to private players. It also hopes to issue RFPs (Requests for Proposal) and RFQs (Requests for Qualification) to redevelop 50 railway stations by March-end.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways plans to monetise 7,200 kms of roads through various means including infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) and securitisation. The government plans to monetise transmission assets of PGCIL in two lots.

Besides, the government plans to monetise assets of MTNL, BSNL and Bharatnet. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports plans to monetise the sports stadia. The target set for this ministry is Rs 20,000. The stadiums are likely to be leased out to the private sector by way of an operation and maintenance contract.

The government is aggressively looking at asset monetisation at the time when revenues are falling and expenditure is rising due to the COVID-19 slump in the economy.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal