Govt has no business to be in business, says Dharmendra Pradhan ahead of BPCL privatisation

New Delhi: Days before the Union Cabinet takes up a proposal to privatise state-owned BPCL, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said the government has "no business to be in business", and cited examples of telecom and aviation sectors where opening up had led to increased competition and price cuts to the benefit of consumers.

Refusing to comment specifically on the possibility of the government selling its entire 53.29% stake along with management control in oil marketing and refining firm Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) for about Rs 60,000 crore, he said the Centre's role should be to create policy framework that guarantees "affordability, accessibility, sustainability and security" of fuel to consumers.

"When Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) says the government has no business to be in business, it is not a slogan. It is a philosophy," he told PTI. Opening up of these sectors to private players had led to a crash in phone call rates and internet charges and has provided more options and better services to travellers along with affordable airfare.

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