Finance minister Sitharaman unveils Rs 6L crore national asset monetisation plan

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NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday launched a four-year road map for a Rs 6-lakh-crore asset monetisation plan. A large chunk of this will be through brownfield assets of central ministries and public sector entities across roads, railways and power.
The FM made it clear that the plan only involves brownfield projects and not land and also promised to give incentives to states for undertaking disinvestment and asset monetisation. “Ownership of assets remains with the government and there will be a mandatory handback, which means they will have to give back after a specified time. Let there be no confusion that this government is selling away. No. These brownfield assets will still be the ownership of the government,” Sitharaman said, while unveiling the road map, which is a crucial element along with privatisation of state-run companies for raising resources to push growth and create jobs against the backdrop of the pandemic.
The FM, in the 2021-22 Budget speech, had announced the launch of asset monetisation programme as a funding mechanism for greater infrastructure spending. The government has already announced a Rs 100-lakh-crore national infrastructure pipeline. The national asset monetisation pipeline has been developed by NITI Aayog, in consultation with infrastructure ministries.
The assets include roads and highways, pipelines, power transmission lines, telecom towers, railways station re-development, private trains, tracks, goods sheds, dedicated freight corridor, 15 railways stadiums, 25 airports, 31 projects in nine major ports, 160 projects in coal mining, 761 mineral mining blocks, two national stadia, re-development of colonies and hospitality assets NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said there are over 20 asset classes across 12 ministries, which have been identified for the pipeline and these are brownfield derisked assets, which will be offered for private investment. Sitharaman said the Centre will incentivise states to undertake disinvestment of PSUs and asset monetisation and outlined a three-point plan.
States, which raise money through disinvestment of state PSUs or give up control, will be given an equal amount by the Centre.

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