PMO asks Kant to chalk out sell-off plan for one sick PSU

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NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has been asked by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to identify one sick PSU, along with a detailed plan for its sell-off or eventual liquidation, before moving on to other such cases. This follows a road map prepared by NITI Aayog and submitted to the PMO last month on strategic sale or closure of some sick public sector units.

NITI Aayog, which functions as a think-tank for the government and provides policy-related inputs, had submitted two separate lists of sick and loss-making PSUs — one comprising those that can be closed down and the other of those that should be privatised. Mr. Kant, who had made the presentation on this road map before the PMO, has been now asked to identify one sick PSU that can be sold off or liquidated in the event of the sell-off exercise not fructifying, before moving on to other such cases, a senior government official said.

Kant, who earlier headed the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), has also been asked to chalk out a detailed plan for the sale or the eventual liquidation, which can be then taken to the Cabinet, the official added.

The exercise will also help the government in preparing a comprehensive blueprint to sell loss-making PSUs or close down the entities that cannot be revived, he said, while adding that previous such attempts have not been very successful. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in his Budget 2016-17 speech said the Aayog will identify PSUs for strategic sale and disinvestment.