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Govt 'clear and unapologetic' about privatisation of PSUs: Sanjeev Sanyal

05 Jun 2020

The Cabinet also approved 'The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020' to ensure barrier free trade in agriculture produce.

The government is clear and unapologetic about privatisation of public sector enterprises as part of reforms, Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal said on Friday. Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that there will be a maximum of four public sector companies in strategic sectors while state-owned firms in other segments will eventually be privatised.

This will be part of a new coherent Public Sector Enterprises Policy to be formulated to push reforms in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), she had said while announcing the fifth and last tranche of over Rs 20 lakh crore 'Amtmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' package.

Talking about the Centre's privatisation drive, Sanyal said, "...we know that privatisation is difficult to do under these circumstances, but we want to be absolutely clear and unapologetic about what we want to do. All non-strategic PSUs (public sector undertakings) will be sold when we can do it. It's not lack of intent that will hold us back."

He further said that the Essential Commodities Act was considered as the "holiest of holy law and it was one of the 10 commandments" but the government has now changed it.

"Labour laws and others in 10 commandments, we are going to change it. We are changing it in a very peculiar way. We are actually going to tighten safety and working condition laws. We are actually introducing nationwide minimum wages. So it's not entirely as some people may claim tilted against the labour," he said .

The government is open to various suggestions including from labour unions to make laws more robust, he said while addressing a virtual AIMA event.

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