Country will have few PSUs but with solid presence, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday mentioned the federal government’s privatisation coverage of naked minimal public sector presence will imply that the remaining state-owned corporations are scaled up and huge with a big presence of their areas of operation.

“In the sense, even if there are one or two or three (PSUs)…it will be a public sector undertaking of a good solid presence,” Sitharaman mentioned at a convention hosted by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

She additionally expressed confidence that the federal government will be capable to meet the Rs 1.75 lakh-crore disinvestment goal set within the FY22 price range. “Now, when the appetite is probably better…I’ve come up with a realistic number. I’ve not given an overestimated number, so I’m sure to achieve it,” she mentioned.

Fuel tax

Taking notice of the excessive burden of accelerating gasoline costs on customers, the finance minister mentioned each the Centre and states have to scale back gasoline taxes.

“There’s just no hiding the fact that there is revenue there (fuel tax),” she mentioned. “But it’s no longer competitive for anyone to say, ‘Centre, you reduce first, then the states will come on board’.”

The Centre and the states would have to fulfill and focus on any motion on this matter, the minister mentioned. “If eventually you want the consumers not to be bearing so much of a burden on this score, it is both the Centre and the states which will have to talk,” she mentioned. “So, when are you going to talk? Yes, I concede that’s where action has to be (taken) and let’s see what we can do about it.”

Farm legal guidelines

Responding to questions on the farmer protests in opposition to three latest agriculture reform legal guidelines and the Centre’s refusal to carry a authorized framework to make sure round minimal help value (MSP), the finance minister mentioned, “Since MSP is not part of the three laws, to come and protest against the three laws and then raise MSP, for me, doesn’t add up.”

She additionally questioned why the problem wasn’t introduced up through the Congress administration. “If indeed MSP has to be part of the statutes, given a law-based backing, why wasn’t it felt during the ten years of UPA (United Progressive Alliance)?”

Farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders and throughout the nation for the previous six months in opposition to the three farm legal guidelines handed through the monsoon session of Parliament final 12 months.

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