New Delhi [India], February 24 (ANI): Noting that the government focus should on people's welfare and development schemes and it has "no business to be in business", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the government is going ahead with the mantra of "monetise and modernise" and decisions related to asset monetisation and privatisation will help in empowering citizens.
Addressing a webinar on the implementation of budget announcements related to privatisation, he said work is going on in full swing on modern infrastructure and multi-modal connectivity for Aatmnirbhar Bharat.
He said the government is working on Rs 111 trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline and there is a scope for the private sector to invest around Rs 25 trillion in this project.
He said there should be transparency in 'monetise and modernise' process and it should follow rules.
"The government is going ahead with the mantra of 'monetise and modernise'. When government monetises, that space is filled by the private sector of the country. The private sector brings investment and best global practices with them. This modernises other things and brings modernisation to the entire sector, the rapid expansion of the sector and the creation of new employment opportunities. It is important to monitor this to ensure that there is transparency in this process and rules are followed," he said.
Noting that the government has many underutilised or unutilised assets, PM Modi said that this is the reason why the Centre announced the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline.
"The government has many underutilised or unutilised assets. This is the reason why the Centre announced the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline. We have set a target to monetise around 100 assets including oil, gas, ports, airports and power. It is estimated to get a Rs 2.5 trillion investment. This process will continue," he said.
"The money comes from assets monetisation and privatisation is being used to build houses for the poor, making roads in villages, opening new schools, providing clean water etc. Every decision related to asset monetisation and privatisation will help in empowering citizens whether they belong to the middle class or poor or farmer or labourers," he added.
The Prime Minister said that the Union Budget provides a clear roadmap to take India on a high growth trajectory.
"This budget has shown a clear roadmap to take India on a high growth trajectory. The budget also focuses on a strong partnership with the private sector. This budget has showed scope and target of the public-private sector partnership with clarity. Disinvestment and asset monetisation is an important aspect of it," he said.
"When public sector enterprises were started in the country, there was a different time and the country's needs were also different. The policy which was right for 50-60 years ago, there is a possibility to amend it," he added.
PM Modi said many public sector enterprises are loss-making and are supported by taxpayers' money.
"Today when we are doing reforms, our target is to use public money wisely. Many public sector enterprises are loss-making. Many of them are being supported with taxpayer's money. It is also an additional burden on the economy. These public sector enterprises should not be continued just because they are being run for several years," he said.
"It is the responsibility of the government to support enterprise and business but it is not necessary or possible for the government to run or to own enterprise today. The government has no business to be in business. The government's focus should on people's welfare and development schemes," he added. (ANI)