Finance Minister urges private sector to display their ‘animal spirits’

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Feb 20, 2021
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Sitharaman said disinvestment does not mean the govt want those undertakings to be closed down but want those companies (PSUs) to be run better, improve productivity

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that the word ‘privatisation’ has acquired a lot more traction than expected as it reflects the mood of the nation which expects that taxpayer’s money should be spent efficiently on welfare of the society.

“That is why even in disinvestment-related issues, we have not behaved how the previous governments have behaved. We have clearly identified core sectors where there will be bare minimum presence of the government while the rest will be allowed for public–private partnership (PPP), private partnership or complete disinvestment,” Sitharaman said.

She was delivering the inaugural address at the 65th Foundation day of All Indian Management Association (AIMA) and 15th National Management Day.

‘Strategic disinvestment’

Noting that disinvestment in trickles in the past has not been enthusiastically received, the Finance Minister said, “Industry, businesses and economy needs clarity in what the government means when they say strategic disinvestment.”

“That is why I think I am answerable for taxpayer’s money being used productively, more efficiently and it should be spent on those segments of population who need all the support,” she added

However, she clarified that disinvestment does not mean the government want those undertakings to be closed down but want those companies (PSUs) to be run better, produce better and to improve productivity over the next several decades.

“The government finds more sense for such undertakings to run more effectively and better with greater professional skills, which is available outside of the government,” she added.

Sitharaman also praised the AIMA for choosing ‘Transformation for continuity’ as the theme of its Foundation Day event and added that the logic of ‘incremental change’ does not hold good anymore. She said the country needs transformational change to meet the growing aspirations of all its people, post pandemic.

Listing out the government support under multiple tranches of Atmanirbhar Bharat package and growth-focussed Budget announcements, Sitharaman said, “Policies are clear, policy consistency has been underlined. Now I would like to see private industry come forward and display their animal spirit.”

Published on February 20, 2021

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