Moving ahead with disinvestment strategy, IRCTC, IRFC, IRCON could soon start the disinvestment process

NEW DELHI: The central government is pressing ahead with its disinvestment strategy and the target for the current financial year, Rs 72,000 crore, is well within reach, say sources. While the plan for putting public-sector banks, insurance and telecom firms on the block is on track, the government is likely to take up the stake sale of power, railways and strategic investments in a few companies first, according to officials involved in the process. Rural Electrification Corporation, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, Indian Railway Finance Corporation and IRCON International, along with Engineers India, Larsen & Toubro, and ITC could soon get a nod for starting the disinvestment process.

“The disinvestment process is in course of meeting its target,” an official responded when asked if the government is confident of achieving the disinvestment target for the current financial year. “It is a ‘process’ and keeping track of the market conditions and the economy are some of the parameters kept in mind among many others when a company is taken up for disinvestment.”

The Union Budget 2017-18 has set a target to generate Rs 72,500 crore through disinvestment against the Rs 45,500 crore it mobilised in 2016-17. However, there is a caveat, of market conditions. “The entire process of CPSE disinvestment is operated in an environment which cannot be predicted. The actual realisation from the CPSE disinvestment depends on the prevailing market conditions and as per the policy and commitment, the government looks for the right opportunity for disinvestment transactions and moves ahead in a prudent manner,” said Arjun Ram Meghwal, minister of state for finance, in the Lok Sabha.