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Centre lowers FY23 divestment target to Rs 65K crore

The Centre has drastically lowered the divestment target for fiscal 2022-23 to Rs 65,000 crore.

According to the budget documents’ ‘Miscellaneous Capital Receipts’, the current fiscal FY22’s target was revised to Rs 78,000 crore from the budget estimates of Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

The Centre had planned major divestments and strategic sale of Air India, BPCL, public sector banks, an insurance company amongst others.

Besides, LIC’s IPO has been targeted to be completed by March 31, 2022.

As per the budget document’s ‘Disinvestment of Government stake in Public Sector Banks and Financial Institutions’, the revised target for FY22 has been brought down to nil from Rs 100,000 lakh crore.

The budget document did not mention any target on account of ‘Disinvestment of Government stake in Public Sector Banks and Financial Institutions’ for FY23.

“Towards implementation of the new Public Sector Enterprise policy, the strategic transfer of ownership of Air India has been completed. The strategic partner for NINL (Neelanchal Ispat Nigam Ltd) has been selected,” said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget FY23 in Parliament.

Many industry statkeholders said the budget estimate is realistic and achievable.

Emkay Global Financial Services Managing Director Krishna Kumar Karwa said: “The public issue of the LIC is expected shortly. Others too are in the process for 2022-23.The divestment target at Rs 65,000 crore should be easily achievable.”

Acuite Ratings and Research Chief Analytical Officer, Suman Chowdhury, said: “While the initial budgeted revenue target was Rs 175,000 crore for FY22, it has been substantially scaled down to Rs 78,000 crore and highlights the uncertainty regarding the LIC IPO.

“Going forward, a moderate amount of Rs 65,000 crore has been earmarked for FY23 which is more realistic given the time frame taken for such transactions. It is evident that the government is unlikely to pursue PSU disinvestment in an aggressive manner over the next 1-2 years.”

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