Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Monday that he hoped to mop up Rs 40,000 crore through disinvestment of government stake in PSUs.
Chidambaram was interacting with netizens on Google+ Hangouts when he replied to a question posed by Mahindra and Mahindra CMD Anand Mahindra and said, “I hope to collect Rs 40,000 crore from disinvestment next year. The first disinvestment will start in April.”
The FM added that the government would raise another Rs 14,000 crore by selling residual stake in non-government companies. Chidambaram added that the government hoped to raise a total of Rs 54,000 crore in the next financial year.
The government has already garnered Rs 21,500 crore in this fiscal by way of disinvestment. Chidambaram hoped to raise Rs 27,000 crore in 2012-’13.
Chidambaram was joined in the hour-long interaction by a select group of panelists including Jahangir Aziz, Senior Asia Economist and India Chief Economist, JP Morgan, Anand Mahindra, CMD of Mahindra & Mahindra and Amit Singhal, Senior Vice-President, Google Inc. This was the first time a Union Cabinet minister had taken to the internet to interact in the virtual space.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi however, was the first politician to use Google+ Hangouts to chat with citizens ahead of last year’s Gujarat elections. Global leaders who have utilised the medium are US President Barack Obama, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib.
He clarified that the government’s net borrowings in the next financial year would increase by only Rs 5000 crore, the slowest hike in recent years. He said that he would monitor the investment plans of public and private sector companies that are cash-rich. “Each PSU is required to fill up that proforma, tell us what their capex targets are next year. We will monitor them closely beginning from April. Every quarter I will monitor what they are investing,” Chidambaram said adding that the GDP would be over 6 per cent in FY 14 and even more in the later years.