Disinvestment: The big privatisation pushback

By January this year, the Centre had achieved just five per cent of its Rs 1.75 lakh crore divestment target for FY22. What ails theprivatisation process, and what’s the way out?

The BPCL plant in Mumbai; (Photo: Mandar Deodhar)

Shwweta Punj

New Delhi,ISSUE DATE: Mar 14, 2022 | UPDATED: Mar 5, 2022 10:57 IST

In recent years, disinvestment has been a major watchword for the Centre. Last year, its budget was in some senses even anchored on expected disinvestment revenue, with the government looking to earn Rs 1.75 lakh crore from the monetisation of PSUs (public sector undertakings) like Air India, BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) and SCI (Shipping Corporation of India). However, as of December 2021, the government had met just about five per cent of that target, or Rs 9,240 crore. In her budget this year, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman indirectly acknowledged the huge miss by scaling down the FY22 disinvestment revenue projection from Rs 1.75 lakh crore to Rs 78,000 crore and setting the 2022-23 target at just Rs 65,000 crore.

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