News / Asia

India to Sell Stakes in Some Public Sector Firms

TEXT SIZE - +

India is selling stakes in two state-run mining firms as part of plans to raise billions of dollars from the sale of public sector companies.

The government says it will sell 10 percent of its stake in the world's largest coal mining company - Coal India Limited, and 20 percent in another mining firm, Hindustan Copper Limited. This will help the government raise more than $3.5 billion, which will be targeted for social programs.  

The government is also identifying other state-owned companies for which it will sell part of its stake. Over the next five years, the government plans to sell stakes in 60 firms to raise billions of dollars.  

Economist D.H. Pai Panandiker, who heads the independent RPG Goenka Foundation in New Delhi, said the money raised from privatization of state-owned firms, or disinvestment as it's called in India, will help pay for a number of much-needed projects.  

"We are short of infrastructure, we are short of electricity, highways, ports and so on. So that money which is coming from disinvestment can be put to more productive use," said Panandiker.

Under a socialist plan in the 1950's, the Indian government established a variety of companies spanning sectors from oil and mining to hotels and telecommunication.  Efforts to privatize these companies began in 1991 after India embarked on an ambitious economic reform program.  But opposition from communist parties and workers unions stalled any significant progress.   

The privatization program got momentum last year after the Congress-led coalition secured a larger-than-expected victory and no longer needed to rely on the support of leftist parties to stay in power.

Economists hope the sale of stakes in state-owned companies will signal a larger program of economic change. Foreign investors, who want to benefit from India's growing economy, have been urging the government to allow more foreign investment in sectors such as retail and insurance. They also want the government to revise rigid labor laws that make it difficult to fire employees.

But economist Panandiker observed these areas continue to be politically sensitive.

"Labor reforms are probably the most difficult. I don't see any progress on other fronts."

India is Asia's third largest economy and is rapidly returning to the high levels of growth before the global financial crisis.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid