Low divestment target suggests change in govt strategy: NSE MD & CEO

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Mumbai, Feb 1 (PTI) The lower divestment target at Rs 50,000 crore suggests a "change in strategy" for the government, wherein it wants to sell a company at the right price and not undertake a distress sale, largest equity bourse NSE Chief Executive Ashish Chauhan said on Thursday.


He said simultaneously, the government is working to strengthen public sector undertakings as we have seen in the recent past.

"They (government) want to ensure that they realise the best price going forward from those PSUs in a reasonable time horizon rather than a distress sale. So, in general the strategy seems to have changed," Chauhan, who is also the managing director of the exchange, told PTI.

He was answering a question on the low disinvestment target, especially for a politically strong regime.


Chauhan said previous governments used to do "adjustments" wherein lack of visibility on resources made them budget for disinvestment targets, while the present one is more realistic in its assumptions.

To a question on why markets are flat despite investor-friendly moves like an affirmation to the fiscal consolidation with a 5.1 per cent target on the fiscal gap, Chauhan said the government was focused on telling everybody about its achievements of the last decade and also added that a lot of announcements were factored in.

Also, lack of clarity on interest rate cuts has kept foreign investors away, he added.


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has struck to the "winning formula" of fiscal restraint, welfarism, and helping growth in the Budget proposals for FY25, Chauhan said.

India is still a poor country and no country has turned around into a developed one without paying attention to inequities and having a strong social security system, Chauhan said, welcoming the measures on welfare.

He also welcomed the move to curtail fiscal deficit at 5.1 per cent, and also the lower borrowing targets for the new fiscal, saying it will make more resources available to the private sector. PTI AA TRB