Government intensifies the monetization of energy supply unit assets

NEW DELHI: The government has prepared a road map to monetize almost two dozen state-owned company assets, including land, as it speeds up the process to unlock the value of its investments in public sector companies and other government departments.

Government think tank Niti Aayog , which has been responsible for the selection of state-owned companies for assets monetization as well as the route to follow, the list is ending. PMO is also monitoring some aspects of the unit. The last impulse occurs in the context of a decelerating economy and the need to promote reforms to boost growth.

The identified assets include six airports in cities of level 2 and level 3, two lots of power transmission lines valued at Rs 20,000 crore, 11 terminals in main ports, which involve around Rs 5,700 crore investment and 10 sections of completed road projects, totaling almost 5,000 km. The state-owned Power Grid Corporation has developed plans to monetize two batches of transmission line infrastructure, valued at around Rs 10,000 million.

Sources said Niti Aayog had finalized the list after several rounds of consultation. The six airports that will be monetised are Trichy, Amritsar, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Raipur and Indore.

Shipping ministry sources said they had presented a plan to build terminals through a public-private partnership (PPP) in five major ports. While three terminals have been identified in the ports of Paradip and Kandla, two have been included in a short list in the ports of Mumbai and Kolkata. The remaining project will be carried out in the port of Mormugao. Port authorities will not build these docks and offer them to private players. This will help reduce government investment, a source said.

In the road sector, NHAI has invited bids for third tranche of completed projects under the toll operation and transfer mode. NHAI chairman NN Sinha told highway developers and investors on Wednesday that the authority will roll out more projects to raise funds.

To monetize the land assets of public sector companies, the government is exploring various options, including sale and lease agreements, and can also opt for the real estate investment trust (REITS) route and the investment trust of infrastructure (InvITS).

Assets of the government departments and state runpublic sector units are spread across the country and can be categorized under land and buildings, brownfield operational assets such as pipelines, roads, mobile towers and financial assets which may include shares, debt securities and other instruments. In March, the Department of Asset Management and Public and Public Investment (DIPAM) had issued a detailed guideline on asset monetization of staterun firms and government departments.