Notwithstanding the slide in stock market, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said government’s disinvestment programme will continue as planned.
Government has set a target of Rs 69,500 crore from PSU disinvestment for the current fiscal. Of this, Rs 41,000 crore is to come from minority share sale in PSUs and Rs 28,500 crore from strategic stake sale.
“I don’t read too much on daily movements as far as markets are concerned. By and large with the health of economy recovering, I see much greater stability as far as markets are concerned. And therefore, the disinvestment programme of the government will continue as it has been planned,” he told reporters.
The benchmark BSE Sensex fell for the third straight day today on RBI’s cautious stance on economic recovery and concerns on deficient monsoon. The gauge has lost 1,035.57 points in last three sessions.
Jaitley also sought to allay fears over predictions of deficient monsoon saying conclusions on that basis either on inflation or some kind of distress situation is “far—fetched“.
The Met department earlier this week predicted that rainfall was likely to be only 88 per cent of the long term average, triggering fears of a drought.
There are also apprehensions that the impending US Fed rate hike could lead to flight of foreign funds away from Indian capital markets, thus impacting the disinvestment plan.
Although the disinvestment department has got approval from Cabinet for selling minority stakes worth about Rs 50,000 crore in a host of PSUs, it has only been able to divest stake in one company —— REC —— so far this fiscal.
The Cabinet has approved sale of 5 per cent stakes in ONGC, BHEL and NTPC as well as 10 per cent each in IOC, NALCO and NMDC.
As per the Public Enterprise Survey 2013—14, India has 234 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) of which 46 are listed.