Economy

Cabinet allows ministerial panel to decide on price, timing of CPSE sale

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 07, 2019 Published on March 07, 2019

Arun Jaitley,Finance Minister   -  File photo

Unveils measures to boost power generation, clears interest subsidy on loans taken by sugar mills to boost ethanol production

The Union Cabinet on Thursday decided to authorise the Finance Minister-led Alternative Mechanism (AM) to take a call on strategic disinvestments, announced measures to promote power generation, and declared an interest subsidy of up to ₹3,355 crore on loans taken by sugar mills to boost ethanol production.

Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has empowered the AM — set up in 2017 to look into the strategic sale of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) — to decide on the quantum of shares to be transacted, the mode of sale and the final pricing of the transaction, or lay down the principles/guidelines for such pricing, the selection of strategic partner/buyer, and the terms and conditions of sale. It can also decide on the timing of the sale and any other related issue regarding the transaction.

The AM, which will comprise Jaitley, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and the minister representing the administrative department concerned, can now decide on the quantum of shares to be transacted, the mode of sale and the final pricing of the transaction.

 Else, it can lay down the principles or guidelines for such pricing and the selection of a strategic partner or buyer, Jaitley said. 

So far, the AM has decided only on the terms and conditions of the CPSE sale from the stage of inviting of expressions of interest (EoIs) till inviting of financial bid.

Interest subvention

The Cabinet also cleared a proposal to give interest subvention of up to ₹3,355 crore to the sugar industry for increasing production of ethanol for the fuel blending programme. 

The subsidy will be given on the ₹12,900-crore bank loans given to sugar mills for augmenting ethanol production, as well as on the ₹2,600 crore to be given to molasses-based standalone distilleries.

Additionally, the Cabinet gave its nod to a slew of measures to promote hydro and thermal power production in the country. It decided to declare hydropower projects as renewable energy projects and announced steps to facilitate the availability of coal to thermal projects with shorter term power purchase agreements. It also made it mandatory for Discoms delaying payments to pay a late-payment surcharge.

Metro projects

Apart from clearing Phase-3A of Mumbai Urban Transport project of ₹30,849 crore, the Cabinet gave its nod to Delhi Metro’s 62-km-long Phase-4 as well as to a plan to revive under-used air strips in different parts of the country.

 

Published on March 07, 2019
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