Nirmala Sitharaman assures facilitative business landscape; privatisation of 5-6 PSUs by Jan, says DIPAM Secretary

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today asked India Inc to seize the opportunities presented by Aatmanirbhar Bharat and be a “lot more risk taking and create capacity” to bring more dynamism to the economy.

Simultaneously, the government stepped up its privatisation effort, with DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kant Pandey stating at the CII Global Economic Policy Summit 2021 that financial bids for privatising as many as six CPSEs (BEML, Shipping Corporation, PawanHans, Central Electronics, NINL) would be invited by January.

Go into new areas

“I appeal to the industry not to further delay increasing capacity, not to further delay looking at areas to partner in technology,” said the Finance Minister, addressing the Summit.

Sitharaman exhorted the industry to seize the opportunities presented by Aatmanirbhar Bharat, ramp up capacities, create job opportunities and empower people with skill-sets. She asked India Inc to venture into new areas, find partners to upgrade technologically, invest in infrastructure and turn growth-oriented. “The government’s intention is to make the business landscape easy and facilitative,” she added.

‘Reduce income disparity’

The Minister asked the industry to offer jobs to reduce income disparity. She asked corporates to cut down on importing finished goods and instead ramp up investments in manufacturing. “At a time when India is looking at impetus to growth, I want the industry to be a lot more risk-taking and understand what India wants,” she said.

The FM stressed that the spike in consumer spending suggests not just pent up demand, but also that life is getting back to normal after a crisis of unprecedented scale.

Infrastructure push

The Finance Minister outlined some of the priority areas for the government, including building technology-driven infrastructure. She added that Rs. 5.5-lakh crore has been allocated for infrastructure with 134 per cent increase for the health segment.

“Fintech and BharatNet are reaching the farthest corners of the country which present collateral benefits for growth. Start-ups and new age technology will make a big difference to the economy,” she said.

In his remarks, Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth said the past 5-7 years have seen pivotal changes in economic thinking, with more reforms, removal of frictions and cleaning up of processes to fuel India’s future.