NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday exuded confidence that the disinvestment calendar announced in the Union Budget will “work well”.
Addressing members of industry chamber Ficci, she said the three large areas where the big-ticket expenditure will happen are infrastructure, health and agriculture.
The budget has pegged disinvestment receipts for the 2021-22 fiscal beginning April 1 at Rs 1.75 lakh crore.
The government is targeting to conclude strategic sale of BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd, in the next fiscal.
Besides, the initial public offering of LIC would be launched and strategic sale process of two PSU banks and one general insurance company would be initiated.
“We have good confidence that the disinvestment calendar… will work well,” the minister said.
Sitharaman’s comments were tweeted by Ficci and retweeted by the finance ministry.
“I underline that we have not burdened any section of Indian society with any additional demand for even an additional rupee,” Sitharaman said.
She added the government is confident that revenue generation will improve through this year and it will be bringing in non-tax revenue other than just disinvestments through various routes, including monetisation of assets.
The finance minister further said the budget is trying to raise non-tax resources at a time when a lot of money has to be spent.
“It’s a budget which raises resources but not on the back of increased taxation. There is a directional change in the budget which is so distinct that it will fuel the entrepreneurial spirit which the Indians show given the right opportunities,” she added.
Sitharaman urged the industry to come forward to make investments.
“I hope the industry will understand the spirit with which the budget is placed before you and therefore also come forward to participate in this inevitable exercise.
“Industry, having cleared all its debts and finances, should now be in a position to invest money to expand and grow and clearly show signs that it is now ready to receive any joint ventures for the sake of technology that it prefers to have,” she added.
For providing immediate stimulus to the economy, the government will be spending in a big way in public infrastructure and three large areas where big-ticket expenditure will happen are infrastructure, health and agriculture, she noted.
“Government alone, even if it brings bags full of money, cannot just meet the demand of the growing and aspirational India,” Sitharaman said.
Total government expenditure projected in the budget is Rs 34.83 lakh crore for the 2021-22 fiscal, with capital expenditure pegged at Rs 5.54 lakh crore.
On the budget announcement of a Development Finance Institution (DFI), Sitharaman said the government will enable one DFI and the entire financing of long-term infrastructure will happen in a very market-driven way and that will bring in efficiency.
The budget proposed an infrastructure-focused DFI with an initial corpus of Rs 20,000 crore for ensuring long-term debt financing of infrastructure projects.
The government, Sitharaman said, has presented a confident, trustworthy and transparent accounting statement in the budget.
“There is no patching up or white washing… It has honest attempt to give honest statement of the government’s finances and with the reforms announced along with the stimulus. It is clear that this government is not sitting cautiously, and it is coming forward with faith in Indian industry and business leaders,” she added.