The North Block of Central Secretariat building which houses the Ministry of Finance in New Delhi, India (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg News)

Finance Ministry Drafting Framework For Hiving Off CPSEs’ Non-Core Assets

The Finance Ministry is drafting a framework for ministries and departments which they would follow while selling non-core assets of central public sector enterprises, an official said.

The “Asset Monetisation Framework”, which is being drafted by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, will help the administrative ministries to fast-track hiving off and sale of non-core assets of CPSEs under their administrative control.

“The framework will act as broad guidelines for the ministries to identify non-core assets and proceed with their sale process in an efficient and transparent manner,” the official told PTI.

To start with, DIPAM, after consulting ministries and CPSEs, has identified a huge tract of land and other assets of nine state-owned companies which will be hived off before they are put on the block for strategic sale.

The sale process of these assets has to be taken forward by the administrative ministries concerned, the official said.

The nine CPSEs whose non-core assets have been identified for hiving off are Pawan Hans Ltd., Scooters India Ltd., Air India, Bharat Pumps & Compressors Ltd., Project & Development India Ltd., Hindustan Prefab Ltd., Hindustan Newsprint Ltd., Bridge and Roof Co. (India) Ltd. and Hindustan Fluorocarbons Ltd.

Most of the assets identified for separate disposal are land parcels and residential flats owned by CPSEs.

With regard to Pawan Hans, the assets identified are Rohini Heliport and Bellman Hangar situated at Safdarjung Airport that was taken on lease from the Airports Authority of India.

For Air India, the assets to be hived off include at least four subsidiaries of the loss-making carrier, including Airline Allied Services Ltd. and Hotel Corporation of India.

Besides, the headquarters building of Air India in the national capital as well as various other land assets and buildings in different parts of the country would be hived off for separate disposal. Various art works and artefacts owned by the airline, too, would be put up on the block.

In the ongoing financial year, the government has set a disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore, which includes strategic and minority stake sale in CPSEs.

The government had given in-principle approval for strategic sale of 24 state-owned companies.

These include Dredging Corporation of India Ltd., HLL Lifecare Ltd., Bharat Earth Movers Ltd., units/joint ventures of ITDC, Bhadrawati, Salem and Durgapur units of Steel Authority of India Ltd., Nagarnar steel plant of NMDC, Central Electronics Ltd. and Ferro Scrap Nigam Ltd.

So far this financial year, the government raised over Rs 9,220 crore by selling stakes in state-owned companies.

Last year, the government had mopped up over Rs 1.03 lakh crore from PSU disinvestment. This was aided by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation’s Rs 36,915-crore acquisition of government-owned fuel retailer Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.