FM Launches National Monetisation Pipeline, Says Govt to Retain Asset Ownership

NITI Aayog's Amitabh Kant said it is important to bring in the private sector for better operation and maintenance.

2 min read

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, 23 August, launched the National Monetisation Pipeline and said that only under-utilised brownfield assets will be monetised under the Centre's plan worth Rs 6 lakh crore.

Asset monetisation, based on the philosophy of 'creation through monetisation', is aimed at tapping private sector investment for new infrastructure creation, Sitharaman said, explaining the policy.

Further, she explained that this was necessary for creating employment opportunities, which would then enable high economic growth and allow seamless integration of rural and semi-urban areas for overall public welfare.

Addressing the press before Sitharaman, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that infrastructure assets worth Rs 6 lakh crore across rail, road and power sectors would be monetised over four years.

Ministries of Roads, Transport & Highways, Railways, Power, Pipeline & Natural Gas, Civil Aviation, Shipping Ports & Waterways, Telecommunications, Food & Public Distribution, Mining, Coal & Housing and Urban Affairs are included in the National Monetisation Pipeline.

No land parcels will be taken up under the NMP.

"Proactive trust that has been given for monetisation... it will be beneficial for the ecosystem. This is also in line with what was said during Budget 2021", Sitharaman said.

"National Monetisation Pipeline talks about brownfield assets where investment is already being made, where there are assets either languishing, not fully monetised, or under-utilised," Sitharaman explained.

She went on to say that by bringing in private participation, the government would be able to monetise assets better and with the resources thus obtained, it would be able to pump more funds into infrastructure building.

"For those who have this question in mind – are we selling away the lands? No. National Monetization Pipeline is talking about brownfield assets that need to be better monetised," Sitharaman said.

She added that ownership of assets remains with the government.

"There will be a mandatory hand back. They (private sector partners) will have to give it back after a certain time," the finance minister said.

"It is important that India recognises that the time has come for making the most out of our assets," she added.

"We are fully committed to delivering success to the National Monetisation Pipeline. We feel that it is very important to bring in the private sector for better operation and maintenance. Therefore, we are committed to very strong delivery on the ground," Kant said on Monday.

Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajeev Kumar said that the government is committed to making greater opportunities available for the private sector participation including in infrastructure.

"Infrastructure has huge multiplier effects. This is the next step in mobilising private capital for the development of infrastructure," Kumar said.

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