India to Sell Most State Firms Outside Banking, Energy Sectors
(Bloomberg) -- India plans to sell or close state-run companies outside four strategic categories it deems crucial to its security needs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration will keep a “bare minimum presence” by running companies in atomic energy, space and defense; transport and telecommunications; power, oil and coal; banking and financial services, according to a notice on the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management’s website.
The plan will reduce the need to bail out unprofitable state companies using taxpayers’ money at a time when Modi requires funds to revive economic growth and invest in health care. About a third of India’s 250 federal state-run companies were unprofitable, according to the Public Enterprises Survey published last year.
The decision on selling or retaining control will be made on recommendations of the government planning body Niti Aayog, according to the notice.
India plans to raise 1.75 trillion rupees ($24 billion) selling stakes in state-run companies in the fiscal year starting April 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said when she unveiled the federal budget on Feb. 1.
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