Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called for a proactive and collaborative approach by the Central and State agencies for achieving the objectives of the National Monetization that will create an alternative funding mechanism for the infrastructure sector.
Speaking at a virtual workshop on asset monetization organized by NITI Aayog and the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), the Finance Minister said that the Budget 2021-22 has provided a clear directional change in terms of speed of the economic reforms. Here, she stressed on the need for monetization as an alternative funding mechanism and the potential therein for improved operational value.
She said that 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.
Chaired by the Finance Minister, the workshop engaged with the Chief Secretaries of States and Administrators of Union Territories. Over 300 participants including respective State and UT secretaries for transport, power, public works department attended the workshop.
The workshop elaborated on the strategic context of core and non-core asset monetization, along with detailed discussions on the need for and modality of such monetization by public sector entities, and the experiences of public and private sector entities in the space.
Speaking during the event, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant highlighted the strategic need for monetization and the various modalities therein. He emphasized that the partnership between Central and State agencies is imperative for leveraging the enormous resource efficiencies of the private sector and for recycling public funds for new infrastructure creation.
Secretary, DIPAM, briefed the participants about monetization of non-core assets and disinvestment of public sector enterprises, including the transactions currently underway.
He also highlighted the potential monetization opportunities for States and the pre-requisites for being successful in this regard.
Chairman, NHAI, shared his experience of successful monetization of National Highways through mechanisms such as Toll Operate Transfer and Infrastructure Investments Trust.
The workshop also discussed the various benefits and pre-requisites of leveraging private sector participation for monetization. It effectively conceptualized a collaborative partnership framework between Centre and States for realizing the country’s infrastructure vision and growth agenda.