New Delhi, February 1, 2017

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the Government will continue on its disinvestment policy announced in the last Budget but will improve on the timeliness of listings.

In his speech Jaitley said, “The Government will put in place a revised mechanism and procedure to ensure time bound listing of identified CPSEs on stock exchanges.”

He said that the Exchange Trade Fund (ETF), comprising shares of ten CPSEs, has received overwhelming response in the recent Further Fund Offering (FFO). The Government will continue to use ETF as a vehicle for further disinvestment of shares. Accordingly, a new ETF with diversified CPSE stocks and other Government holdings will be launched in 2017-18, he added.

Jaitley said that shares of Railway Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) like IRCTC, IRFC and IRCON will be listed in stock exchanges. Further the Government will encourage strengthening the CPSEs through consolidation, mergers and acquisitions.

These methods will give them capacity to bear higher risks, avail economies of scale, take higher investment decisions and create more value for the stakeholders, he added.

Jaitley also said that possibilities of such restructuring are visible in the oil and gas sector. The Government proposes to create an integrated public sector ‘oil major’ which will be able to match the performance of international and domestic private sector oil and gas companies.

He noted that there is uncertainty around commodity prices, especially that of crude oil. He noted that a rise in oil prices would get tempered by quick response from producers of shale gas and oil. This would have a sobering impact on prices of crude and petroleum.

[The Hindu Business Line]