Niti Aayog presents the list of names private sector banks for privatization

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Niti Aayog on Thursday presented the list of public sector banks which are planned to be privatized for the ongoing financial year to the Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment, according to the news agency PTI. The government think tank took charge of selecting the names of two public sector banks and one general insurance company for privatization, as declared in the Budget 2021-22.

According to PTI, quoting a senior official, “We have submitted the names (of PSU banks) to the Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment.”

After the Core Group of Secretaries led by the Cabinet Secretary gives clearance for the list,  the finalized names will be passed to the Alternative Mechanism (AM) to get approval. The list will eventually go to the Cabinet, which is led by PM Modi for ultimate approval. Post getting Cabinet approval, changes on the regulator side to facilitate the privatization would initiate, the PTI said.

The Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment comprises of economic affairs secretary, revenue secretary, expenditure secretary, corporate affairs secretary, legal affairs secretary, Department of Public Enterprises’ secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) secretary, and an administrative department secretary.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on March 16, had ensured that the interests of the staff from the banks which will supposedly be privatized would be protected, as per news agency ANI reports. ANI cited Sitharaman saying, “We have announced a Public Enterprise Policy where we have identified four areas where public sector presence will be there. In this, the financial sector is there too. Not all banks are going to be privatised. Interests of workers of banks which are likely to be privatised will absolutely be protected — whether their salaries or scale or pension, all will be taken care of.”

She said, “Even for those banks which are likely to be privatised, the privatised institutions too will continue to function after privatisation; the interests of the staff will be protected.”

“We need banks which are going to be able to scale up… We want banks that are going to be able to meet the aspirational needs of this country,” the FM further added.

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