Stating that innovative reforms were the need of the hour, senior BJP leader and former Union minister, Arun Shourie, on Sunday said to save the country, which was getting “debt-trapped”, the public sector units (PSUs) and banks should monetize its unproductive assets.
“India is steadily getting debt trapped. Our leading banks and PSUs are failing to raise money from the market. Immediate and innovative reforms have become indispensable The PSUs and banks should set up holding companies and monetize their idle and non-performing assets,” Shourie said.
Citing an example he said that during his tenure as a disinvestment minister, it was discovered that VSNL had 700 acres of prime land in many cities. “Now if unproductive assets like these are sold off, it can generate crores in revenue,” Shourie said delivering a lecture on the 121st birth anniversary of scientist and applied statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) here.
He said that there were seven banks in the country, which were heavily burdened with NPAs (non-performing assets). “They need Rs 400,000 crore for recapitalization. You can’t increase their revenue and you can’t decrease their expenditure also,” said the former MP adding that full quarterly disclosure should be made mandatory for banks.
Without taking name, Shourie said one corporate house in India owed Rs 1,22,000 crore to banks and another one owed Rs 58,000 crore. Shourie, who also laid the foundation stone of R C Bose Centre for Cryptology & Security, stressed the need to be equipped for cyber warfare while ruing the fact that India was yet to firewall all its strategic establishments.
“The sad part is that the government’s initiative to firewall important establishments is still lingering where it was 10 years ago. Besides foreign countries, we also need to be on guard against terrorist outfits who are known to be highly proficient in technology,” Shourie said, adding that with the click of a button the enemy can paralyze our important and strategic establishments or even the country. He said China has been very explicit and has listed out 15-20 points where they want to strike and paralyze and disorient another