The Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has launched a long-awaited four-year road map for a Rs 6-lakh-crore asset monetisation plan. The FM, in her 2021-22 Budget speech, had announced the launch of an asset monetisation programme as a funding mechanism for greater infrastructure spending.
The proposed monetisation is likely to be held through brownfield assets of central ministries and public sector entities across roads, railways and power. The FM has, however, clarified that the plan only involves brownfield projects and not land and also promised to give incentives to states for undertaking disinvestment and asset monetisation.
“Ownership of assets remains with the government and there will be a mandatory handback, which means they will have to give back after a specified time. Let there be no confusion that this government is selling away. No. These brownfield assets will still be the ownership of the government,” Sitharaman said while unveiling the roadmap, which is a crucial element along with privatisation of state-run companies for raising resources to push growth and create jobs against the backdrop of the pandemic.
The Centre has already announced a Rs 100-lakh-crore national infrastructure pipeline. The national asset monetisation pipeline has been developed by NITI Aayog, in consultation with infrastructure ministries.
The assets include roads and highways, pipelines, power transmission lines, telecom towers, railways station re-development, private trains, tracks, goods sheds, dedicated freight corridor, 15 railways stadiums, 25 airports, 31 projects in nine major ports, 160 projects in coal mining, 761 mineral mining blocks, two national stadia, re-development of colonies and hospitality assets
According to the NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, there are over 20 asset classes across 12 ministries, which have been identified for the pipeline and these are brownfield de-risked assets, which will be offered for private investment. Sitharaman said the Centre will incentivise states to undertake disinvestment of PSUs and asset monetisation and outlined a three-point plan.