The plan envisages monetisation of assets worth Rs 15,000 crore in the aviation sector, Rs 20,000 crore in the power sector, Rs 7,500 crore in shipping, Rs 25,000 crore in national highways and Rs 22,000 crore of railways assets, a government official told ET.
The proposal will soon go to the Cabinet for approval, said the official. A committee led by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has set strict time frames for all nodal ministries to invite bids for the projects after multiple consultations with them. Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba is steering the entire plan. “The government is aggressively pushing for asset monetisation to bring in operational efficiency,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified.
The NITI Aayog will continue to work with ministries to identify other assets as the government progresses on its drive to monetise a large number of assets. The Aayog has developed a dashboard to track real-time progress on the targets given to each ministry, the official said.
The asset monetisation plan comes in the wake of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing a series of measures over the past one month to revive economic growth after GDP growth fell to six-year low of 5% in the first quarter of this fiscal. The massive reduction in corporate tax alone will result in revenue foregone of Rs 1.45 lakh crore.
The government has already pressed the pedal on disinvestments, with a group of secretaries on Monday giving its goahead to strategic sales in BPCL, Container Corporation of India, Shipping Corporation of India, THDC India and Neepco, as it aims to raise Rs 1.05 lakh crore from disinvestment in this fiscal.
In the aviation sector, the Aayog has identified six airports – in Trichy, Indore, Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Amritsar and Raipur – for asset monetisation. It hopes this will fetch the government Rs 15,000 crore while transmission lines of Power Grid Corporation, when sold in two tranches at an interval of six months, will help mop up Rs 10,000 crore each over the next one year.
Likewise, 11 shipping assets have been identified, including berths operated by Port Trusts, that are likely to fetch Rs 7,500 crore. Besides, the Aayog has proposed that 25,000 km of roads be monetised over the next three years, starting with 10 stretches in the first tranche for Rs 5,000 crore. The cumulative earnings from highway monetisation are expected to be Rs 25,000 crore. For railways, the Aayog has proposed that 150 passenger trains be run by private players in three tranches, with 50 trains in each slot. This is expected to fetch Rs 22,000 crore.