The government has merged the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) with the Finance Ministry to give it a better control over key state-owned firms, review their capital expenditure plans and chalk out measures relating to revival as well as closure of CPSEs. The finance ministry will now have six departments, with five other departments being Economic Affairs, Revenue, Expenditure, Investment and Public Asset Management and Financial Services.
Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, the parent ministry of DPE, will now be called the Ministry of Heavy Industries.
The move comes ahead of the significant privatisation roadmap being pursued by the government, including strategic sale of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Shipping Corporation, Container Corporation, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd, Pawan Hans, Air India, which are expected to be completed in 2021-22. Key government companies like BPCL, ONGC, IOC, HPCL, Power Grid Corporation, Coal India, among others, will now come under direct control of Finance Ministry.
The move comes ahead of the significant privatisation roadmap being pursued by the government, including strategic sale of BPCL, Shipping Corporation, Container Corporation, among others.
As part of the divestment strategy for the financial sector, the government has decided to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and residual stake sale in IDBI Bank during the financial year beginning April. Privatisation of two public sector banks and one insurance company is also on the cards.
The rejig came ahead of the Cabinet expansion on Wednesday. DPE’s present functions includes, among others, review of capital projects and expenditure in CPSEs and measures aimed at improving their performance and capacity building.