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4 Feb, 2021 08:15

Sale of state-owned firms could make India a $5 trillion economy

Sale of state-owned firms could make India a $5 trillion economy

The Indian government’s efforts to privatize state-owned companies provide a “great opportunity” for the country to become a $5 trillion economy, a top Indian business leader told CNBC.

This week the country’s Finance Ministry announced that the government has a disinvestment target of 1.75 trillion rupees (about $24 billion) for the next fiscal year, which starts on April 1. The government plans to sell state-owned assets to the private sector or list them on the stock exchange.

This would include completing the privatization of state-owned companies such as Air India, Container Corporation of India and Shipping Corporation of India, among others. It would also involve a government proposal to make two public sector banks and a general insurance company private.

“This is a very good move,” according to Anil Agarwal, executive chairman of diversified natural resources firm Vedanta Resources. He set up a $10 billion fund with UK-based investment firm Centricus last year, aimed at investing in government companies that are up for sale. 

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Agarwal told CNBC that the government’s stake sale efforts will provide a “great opportunity, all over the world, for people to come in and invest.” It would also make the state-owned companies more productive, he added.

India is expected to become the world’s fastest-growing economy in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The fund’s forecast followed “a stronger-than-expected” recovery in 2020.

India’s economy is currently the fifth largest in the world, with a GDP of $2.6 trillion, according to the IMF.

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