India not to privatize profitable state-owned units

Friday, 28 May 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The ruling coalition Thursday said it would scrap the disinvestment ministry and privatise only chronically sick public sector undertakings if the need arises.

"Generally, profit-making companies will not be privatised," said a 24-page agenda of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), called the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) that was release Thursday.

"It will be our effort when we privatise to take the entire country into confidence," said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after Congress president Sonia Gandhi released the agenda.

He also said that the disinvestment ministry would be scrapped and its work transferred to the finance ministry.

According to the policy document, privatisation must be directly linked with social needs wherein the proceeds go towards areas such as social sector schemes.

It said the government would remain committed to a strong and effective public sector whose social objectives will be met by its commercial functioning.

"The UPA is pledged to develop full managerial and commercial autonomy to successful, profit-making companies operating in a competitive environment," it said.

"The UPA government believes privatisation should increase competition, not decrease it," the CMP said. "It will not support the emergence of any monopoly that only restricts competition."

Source: IANS
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