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India may soon have just about 2 dozen public sector units: Report

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The Centre is likely to reduce the number of public sector enterprises to just about 25 from the over 300 that exist at present. This is in line with the government’s new policy, which focuses on privatisation in non-core sectors while shutting down loss-making public sector utilities.

India may soon have just about 2 dozen public sector units: Report
The Centre is likely to reduce the number of public sector enterprises to just about 25 from the over 300 that exist at present. This is in line with the government’s new policy, which focuses on privatisation in non-core sectors while shutting down loss-making public sector utilities.
During the Union Budget 2021-2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had reiterated the government’s commitment to privatise many government-owned firms.
According to a Times Of India (TOI) report, government sources told the newspaper that the total number of public sector enterprises to be sold off will be arrived at after the recommendations by NITI Aayog — tasked to identify companies to be offered for strategic sale — are out.
In her Budget speech, the Sitharaman had categorically stated that there would be just four key strategic sectors, in which there would be a maximum of three to four public sector units. In all the other sectors where there are public sector units, the government will move out. This will include banks and insurance companies.
The strategic sectors that the finance minister had identified included atomic energy, space, defence, transport, telecommunications, power, petroleum, coal and other minerals and banking, insurance. In these sectors, the presence of the public sector enterprises will be at a bare minimum. In non-strategic sectors, public sector units will either be privatised or shut.
The policy is a reflection of the government’s interest in moving towards privatisation of state-run companies. It also shows that the government is keen to involve the private sector and attract global investors to provide the much-needed cash fillip to revive the economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
During her Budget speech, the finance minister announced plans to privatise two public sector banks and a general insurance company soon. Few public sector units such as Air India, BPCL, CONCOR and Shipping Corporation of India, are already up for privatisation.