Centre to finalise PSU disinvestment

| 06 November 2000 17:40 IST

The central government is likely to take a final decision in the next cabinet meeting on closure and disinvestment of public sector units in the country.

This is being disclosed by union heavy industries minister Manohar Joshi.

During the Meet the Press programme organised by the Goa Union of Journalists here on the occasion of Joshi's visit to Goa to inaugurate two-day birth centenary celebrations of Master Dinanath Mangeshkar, he said a white paper prepared in this regard would be placed before the cabinet.

Stating that around 100 public sector industrial units out of total 225 are presently running in losses, Joshi informed that all the PSUs are being classified into three categories in the white paper. Around 48 among them fall under his ministry.

The first category contains of all the important industries which are essential to run for the country's development. "They just cannot be closed down under any circumstances", he said.

The second category pertains to the industries which are making either marginal losses or marginal profits. "They would be considered for disinvestment in phases", he said, adding that the process of privatisation in this direction has already begun.

Nine PSUs among these, which are placed in the third category, have no other option than to be closed down. Eight of them, most of which are from West Bengal, have already closed down, said Joshi.

Though he declined to elaborate on the issue further, he said industries like Hindustan Machine Tools would be revived and made competent enough to fight Chinese products competing in Indian market. A package with VRS and aid of Rs 100 crore has already been worked out, he informed.

Though he also did not elaborate once again, Joshi said his ministry is also working out an Auto Policy as the automobile industry is becoming a major developing sector in the market today.

Meanwhile, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar has requested Joshi to help the tourist state to set up any automobile industry here. A formal proposal in this regard would be submitted to him during Parrikar's Delhi visit scheduled next week.

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