The government will announce a schedule spread evenly over a year for the divestment of equity in state-owned companies in a move to ensure time-bound cash inflow to its coffers.
This is also expected to help achieve the disinvestments target. “It is critical to meet the target as the government has to, by all means, adhere to the fiscal deficit target given for the next year. The global crude prices are also expected to be above the current levels,” said a senior government official who did not wish to be identified.
The official added that the finance ministry did not want the entire exercise to be handled only during the last few months of the financial year.
Two weeks ago, the government divested 10% of its stake in Coal India Limited that fetched Rs. 24,557 crore – more than 50% of the budgeted proceeds of the estimated Rs. 43,425 crore from disinvestments this financial year.
Earlier, the government had managed to raise a mere Rs. 1,719 crore through the sale of shares in Steel Authority of India.
The government, which has been missing its disinvestments target for the last few years, is likely to chalk out a roadmap to sell off loss-making public sector undertakings which are lying idle to generate revenues.
Sources added that the list of PSUs to be privatised will be finalised, and a plan about which ones to be taken up in the first stage will be drawn out.