Despite the prime minister's assurances, the disinvestment of oil PSUs seems to have hit roadblocks. Now, government sources contend that a decision will be announced just after Diwali. But with disinvestment minister Arun Shourie coming under fire for selling some prime hotel properties at cheap prices, one can expect more delays. G.V. Ramakrishna, ex-chairman, Disinvestment Commission, who can easily be dubbed the father of India's privatisation process, airs his ideas on how the government can get out of this imbroglio. His solution is to create a National Shareholding Trust (NST) to dispose of these assets to ensure fair value to the seller and the taxpayers, and not to follow the strategic sale route in an indiscriminate manner. Excerpts from an interview with Vatsala Kamat:
What do you have to say on the recent brawl over disinvestment?
The hype and commotion over HPCL and BPCL is a triumph of politics over economics and theoretical economics over practical common sense.
What is your solution for the HPCL and BPCL imbroglio?