Cash-strapped Punjab approves disinvestment of three ailing PSUs

Chandigarh, June 27 : In a move aimed at bridging revenue and fiscal deficits and raising funds for the cash-crunched state exchequer, the Punjab cabinet on Wednesday approved the disinvestment of three ailing public sector units (PSUs).

The process of divestment of the loss-making Punjab Communications Ltd, Punjab Financial Corporation and Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation will be carried out by a core group of officers to be set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary.

The decision has been taken based on the recommendations of Punjab Governance Reforms and Ethics Commission, a spokesman said here after a cabinet meeting.

"The committee has been mandated to make recommendations regarding the disinvestment of PSUs in Punjab, the report of which would be submitted to the Council of Ministers for final decision," he added.

The decision was taken as the cabinet felt the disinvestment of the three PSUs would help in raising funds for capital expenditure and infrastructure development, funding social welfare schemes and improving the performance of PSUs by instilling professional and corporate business ethics, the spokesman said.

Punjab earned only Rs 4.90 crore as dividend in 2017-18 from its 50-odd PSUs, while the state resources locked up in these PSUs amount to Rs 7,614 crore.

The total amount of outstanding government loans of these PSUs is around Rs 25,393 crore and the unpaid loan against the government guarantee stands at Rs 18,312 crore approximately (as on March 31, 2018).The cabinet noted that the central government had collected around Rs 1 lakh crore from the strategic and non-strategic disinvestment of Central Public Sector Enterprises in 2017-18, taking advantage of the market conditions.



Source: IANS