National Monetisation Pipeline launched to ‘monetise’ under-utilised public sector assets
The pipeline would cover a wide array of sectors, including road and railway assets, airports, power transmission lines and gas pipelines.
Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Centre on Monday launched the National Monetisation Pipeline in a bid to monetise under-utilised and brownfield public sector assets by private sector companies. The government said that the pipeline is launched with an aim to unlock the value of ‘government investments and public money’ in infrastructure.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman who launched the National Monetisation Pipeline said that the National Monetisation Pipeline will be ‘coterminous’ with the National Infrastructure Pipeline which was launched in 2019, for a four-year period between 2022 and 2025 fiscal year.
The pipeline would cover a wide array of sectors, including road and railway assets, airports, power transmission lines and gas pipelines. Sitharaman made it clear that the assets would not be sold to the private sector but will only be given to them for their better utilisation.
“The ownership of the assets will remain with the government. There is a mandatory hand back rule,” the finance minister said, even as she clarified that the national monetisation pipeline focusses on brownfield assets where investment has already been made and it is ‘languishing’ or ‘under-utilised’.
Government’s assets to be covered under NMP
The finance ministry said that the pipeline of the government’s assets covers about 14% of the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which is roughly ₹6 lakh crore. The top three sectors by value which will come under this pipeline are roads, railways and power. The government is also looking at the aviation, shipping, coal mining, mineral mining, natural gas sectors, sports, urban real estate, petroleum products and pipelines and warehousing assets.
Responding to a query as to why private sector would hand back sports, urban real estate and warehousing assets, a government official explained that these assets will continue to remain under the control of the government as private sector companies will only rebuild languishing or ‘end of life’ infrastructures, manage it for 25-30 years and earn revenue from it.
The official said that during this process the private sector companies will bring in ‘greater productivity’ and ‘better efficiency’. “Without any government investment, on lands which were lying vacant, the government will mobilise around ₹30,000 crore in the warehousing sector alone,” he said.