24 September, 2020

A September Revolution

The government has finally crossed the glass ceiling on privatisation and is ready to sell off many of its family jewels

A September Revolution
HAS the government finally got its act together on disinvestment in public sector undertakings (PSUs)? The process has been hanging fire ever since it was proposed in 1991; governments have either reneged on their commitments on this, or succumbed to pressure from labour unions.

Last week, even with the political situation in a tumult and the government's future uncertain, the Union Cabinet made bold and welcome changes in its disinvestment policy. Shifting from its philosophy of holding controlling stakes in PSUs, the government announced that it was willing to divest beyond the 51 per cent controlling stake something unprecedented not only in this government, but also in its preceding ones apart from putting in place a structure that will take the disinvestment process to its logical end.

The Disinvestment Commission, set up to energise the process, had done its work in right earnest, but its efforts have till now been stymied by either depressed market sentiments or pressure from interest groups. But the BJP government appears finally willing to cross that...



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