India is planning to monetize $81 billion worth of state assets over the next four years to boost growth and infrastructure spending in the world’s fifth-biggest economy.
Under the state program included in the current budget plan, New Delhi aims to grant such assets as roads, railway stations, warehousing facilities, and gas pipelines to the private sector on a long-term lease, according to Amitabh Kant, chief executive of government think tank NITI Aayog.
“The strategic objective of the program is to unlock the value of investments in brownfield public sector assets by tapping institutional and long-term patient capital which can thereafter be leveraged for further public investments,” the official told journalists.
The measure is expected to attract over $25 billion from the road sector, $20.4 billion from railway assets, around $6 billion from power transmission lines, $5.4 billion from natural gas assets, and $5.3 billion from telecommunications projects.
The monetization plan will serve as a medium-term road map for the government’s asset sale initiative, according to the think tank. The projected income from the asset sales will reportedly help to narrow the budget deficit, which is expected to amount to 6.8% of the gross domestic product in the financial year that began April 1, from 9.3% in the previous year.
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