Govt to retain up to 4 CPSEs in a strategic sector, to privatise others

New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) The government on Sunday said there will be a maximum of four public sector companies in strategic sectors, and state-owned firms in other segments will eventually be privatised.

This will be part of a new coherent Pubic Sector Enterprises Policy to be formulated to push reforms in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here while announcing the fifth and last tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package.

Under the policy, a list of strategic sectors will be notified where there will be at least one and a maximum of four public sector enterprise, apart from private sector companies.

In other sectors, CPSEs will be privatised depending upon the feasibility.

'We would like to announce a PSE policy (as) a self-reliant India needs a coherent policy. All sectors will be opened to private sectors also.

'PSEs will continue to play an important role in defined areas. We need a coherent policy because sometimes you open up some sectors in piecemeal... Now we shall define the areas... where their presence will be impactfully felt,' Sitharaman said.  'So government will announce a new policy which will broadly categorise strategic sectors and others. The strategic sector in which PSEs will be present will be notified and in those notified sectors, at least one PSE will be present while private will also be allowed to play their role in it,' she added.  The sectors which get notified as strategic will have not more than four PSEs and the remaining ones will be either privatised, merged or brought under a holding company.

'Either they will be merged, or they will be brought together in such a way that they are only four or lesser. So there won't be mushrooming PSEs in those notified sectors,' she said, adding this will also minimise administrative cost.   The policy to privatise public sector companies is expected to give a boost to the government's disinvestment programme.

The Centre has set a budget target of Rs 2.10 lakh crore from disinvestment in the current fiscal, of which Rs 1.20 lakh crore is expected from CPSE disinvestment. PTI JD ABM ABM