India eyes US$15.6bn disinvestment in 2017-18

The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitely, while presenting the General Budget 2018-19 in Parliament said that the Government has initiated the process of strategic disinvestment in 24 Central Public Sector Enterprises, including strategic privatisation of Air India

February 1, 2018

The Government of India is looking to disinvest to the tune of US$15.6 billion in the financial year ending March 31st, 2018, above the target of US$11.3 billion

India has initiated the process of strategic disinvestment into 24 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), including strategic privatisation of Air India, the state air carrier

A bank recapitalisation program has issued bonds worth US$12.5 billion this year, helping India’s 21 public sector banks to lend additional credit worth US$77.8 billion

Aided by a number of amendments in financial policies and institutions, the Government has set a disinvestment target of US$12.5 billion for financial year 2018-19

The Government of India is looking to disinvest to the tune of US$15.6 billion in the financial year ending March 31st, 2018. This is well ahead of the target of  US$11.3 billion in disinvestments – the highest ever – that the Government had set out for the financial year 2017-18. The re-energised drive comes as part of the Government’s efforts to generate funds as well as support banking sector reforms. The decision was announced as part of the General Budget for financial year 2018-19 that was presented by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitely, in the Parliament on February 1st.

India has initiated the process of strategic disinvestment into 24 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), including strategic privatisation of Air India, the state-run air carrier, after being divided into four separate entities. Mr Jaitely also said that a bank recapitalisation program has been launched with bonds worth US$12.5 billion being issued this year. This recapitalization will help India’s 21 public sector banks to lend additional credit worth US$77.8 billion. The Government also plans to allow strong regional rural banks to raise capital from the market to enable them to increase their credit to rural economy.

Highlighting the Government’s effort to generate funds, the finance minister said that the exchange traded fund (ETF), Bharat-22, a mutual fund scheme, which was introduced to raise US$2.3 billion, was oversubscribed in all segments. The Government is also amending a number of regulations and upgrading institutions to simplify flow of finances in the economy, to encourage increased investment into the Government’s schemes and enterprises and to aid better management of excess liquidity.  In line with the success, the Government has set the disinvestment target of US$12.5 billion for 2018-19.