Proposed in this year’s Budget, the provisions will be placed before the Cabinet for approval. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already said the government will modify its current policy of retaining 51 per cent stake in PSUs, but will maintain a controlling stake.
“The government is looking for potential strategic stake sales in the non-priority sector and an enabling provision is being worked out through which it can reduce its stake below 51 per cent and still retail control of PSUs,” sources said.
“The plan is to bring down government holdings in PSUs on a case to case basis. So the definition of ‘government-owned’ will be revised and enabling provisions will have to be inserted for the CPSEs in question,” sources added.
“Apart from this, some sensitive issues such as reservation policy in PSUs, also need to be reworked as once the government cedes direct control, such policies may be diluted,” they added.
DIPAM or the Disinvestment Department has started consultations with the Niti Aayog and select 10-12 PSUs to bring down the government’s holdings below 51 per cent. But these 10-12 PSUs will not be considered for the current fiscal and be under the oversight of agencies like the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).