21 January, 2021

Divest Of Direction

Unmet targets and dithering on sell-offs put a question mark on go vernment's intent on disinvestment

Divest Of Direction
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
When disinvestment minister Arun Shourie announced that the process of disinvestment was being put under parliamentary scrutiny, he was just following the trail blazed by his predecessors. Over the past decade, confused policy-makers have ensured that public sector disinvestment remains a great concept on paper but seldom workable.

When the nda government started its second innings with a decision to set up a separate department of disinvestment (DoD) in December 1999, for once it seemed that the rusty gates would finally creak open. A month later, the government kept up the good work by selling Modern Foods India (75 per cent) for what it considered a handsome price of Rs 105 crore to Hindustan Lever, despite severe Opposition headbanging. But there the process seemed to fizzle out. And now, within a year of its existence, the government has ordered that the DoD's working be supervised by a parliamentary standing committee attached to the finance ministry. At the same time, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India would prepare a social and economic report on all...
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