Centre urges private equity, VC funds to bid for strategic divestments

ANI | Updated: Apr 20, 2018 16:33 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr. 20 (ANI): Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) funds with adequate enterprise, managerial or technical investors in the whole consortium sort of model can come forward to participate in strategic divestments like Air India, the Centre said on Thursday.

"We are not looking only for an airline to take over Air India, we have given a small carve out for airlines on how domestic airlines will be treated in terms of eligibility in a consortium but otherwise anybody who has net worth and funds can bid for Air India," Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Neeraj Gupta said at an ASSOCHAM Annual India Investment Conference.

"In all these disinvestment exercises also, we have kept them technically neutral, finance is the main criteria and your capability to take over and run such an asset in financial terms is the main criteria," he added.

He further said the Union Government had received a lot of queries from airlines and non-airlines for proposed divestment of the national carrier.

Talking about the growth potential in the PE and VC sector, the DIPAM secretary highlighted that from 2009 to 2016 the PEs and VCs have grown as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product), besides both size and volume of the deals have also grown.

"I am not saying all the issues could have been addressed and there may be more expectations on tax and incentive side but we have to always remember that when we provide a very-very attractive, sweet carve-out for one set of investors it has the potential of being misused and tax is definitely the basis on which we can maintain financial discipline," he added.

In terms of adhering to financial discipline, Gupta expressed the government's commitment to the same and said the fiscal deficit is being contained to targeted numbers and the economy continues to have a glide path.

"In last few years, despite challenges and transformational decisions, the government has committed to continue to fiscal discipline and continue higher growth. When such an approach is there, other sources of funds in the economy become more and more important," he added. (ANI)