Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that asset monetisation needs to be viewed not just as a funding mechanism, but as an overall strategy for bringing about a paradigm shift in infrastructure augmentation and maintenance.
She was chairing the National Workshop with States and Union Territories on Asset Monetisation organised by NITI Aayog. It may be noted the Budget for FY22 has laid great emphasis on asset monetisation.
“Asset monetisation is based on the principle of value creation for government and investors. Our vision for infrastructure is ultimately of, for and by our States. Without whose collaboration, holistic development of infrastructure is neither feasible nor impactful,” she said.
Further she said India’s vision of a $5-trillion economy, while striking the right balance between fiscal imperatives and socio-economic welfare, can only be achieved through active collaboration between public and private sector. The Minister underlined the Government’s resolve for value creation and improvement in productivity of brownfield infrastructure assets via innovative instruments.
She highlighted the firm support provided by the Government by way of steady economic reforms, including the clear directional change provided under Budget 2021–22. Investment planned under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) is critical for boosting growth in States and the various initiatives in this year’s Budget will facilitate funding for infrastructure creation under NIP.
She stressed on the need for monetisation as an alternative funding mechanism and the potential therein for improved operational value. She also called for a proactive and collaborative approach by the Central and State agencies for achieving the objectives of the National Monetisation Pipeline.
Secretary, DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management), Tuhin K Pandey briefed the participants about monetisation of non-core assets and disinvestment of public sector enterprises, including the transactions currently underway. He also highlighted the potential monetisation opportunities for States and the pre-requisites for being successful in this regard.
Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Chairman of NHAI, shared his experience of successful monetisation of national highways through mechanisms such as Toll Operate Transfer and Infrastructure Investments Trust. Bringing in the State perspective in this space, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation discussed its experience in the monetization of the State expressway. Macquaire India, KKR and IndiGrid shared investors’ perspectives on selection and investment in brownfield assets.