Asset monetization in India: Govt targets Rs 1.3 lakh crore from rail, telecom assets | India Business News

NEW DELHI: The government is aiming for half of its Rs 2.5 billion asset monetization target from railways and telecommunications, and is looking for new areas including warehouses to store food, coal and other mines, as well as tourism infrastructure around the Use up suggested resources to create new assets.
In the budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a massive asset monetization initiative after the government had been on its way for several years, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set an ambitious target to be achieved over the next three to four years.
The monetization and privatization of assets are the two main priorities of the 2021-22 budget, which aim to completely transform the economy to make it more efficient and provide space for the private sector to help with recovery.
Following the prime minister’s move, NITI Aayog was tasked with drafting the roadmap and was also given the mandate to partner with the ministries. After consulting with ministries and departments, a target of Rs 90,000 for the railways has been set, which is seen as a latecomer and focuses on upgrading stations and starting private trains. Dedicated Freight Corporation is also looking to monetize its infrastructure through steps like selling preferred slots or through faster freight trains.
Separately, it is proposed to monetize telecommunications towers from state-owned loss-making BSNL and MTNL – also in the pipeline for years – and their fiber optic infrastructure in order to clean up around 40,000 rupees. Indeed, the sale of towers was a key element in the overhaul of the two ailing public sector companies, but companies failed to respond.
Experts are skeptical of the government implementing the plan, despite Niti Aayog creating a dashboard to track progress. The strategy was drawn up by a secretariat committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba. Government sources told TOI that the center’s think tank is also looking at other areas that will help grow the target and generate more resources that can be reinvested.
In fact, electricity and roads, two sectors in which the InvIT route is being pursued, have received less ambitious targets despite having established the structure for the implementation of the plan. For the other ministries, it is planned to drive monetization of airports, pipelines, sports stadiums and other assets.

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