NITI Aayog, along with the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), organized a national-level virtual workshop on asset monetization today. Chaired by the Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, the workshop engaged with the Chief Secretaries of States and Administrators of Union Territories. Over 300 participants including respective State and UT secretaries for transport, power, public works department attended the workshop.
The workshop elaborated on the strategic context of core and non-core asset monetization, along with detailed discussions on the need for and modality of such monetization by public sector entities, and the experiences of public and private sector entities in the space.
In her opening remarks, the Hon’ble Finance Minister highlighted the firm support provided by the Government by way of steady economic reforms, including the clear directional change provided under Budget 2021–22. She mentioned that investment planned under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) is critical for boosting growth in States and the various initiatives in this year’s Budget will facilitate funding for infrastructure creation under NIP. She stressed on the need for monetization as an alternative funding mechanism and the potential therein for improved operational value. She also called for a proactive and collaborative approach by the Central and State agencies for achieving the objectives of the National Monetization Pipeline.
NITI Aayog CEO highlighted the strategic need for monetization and the various modalities therein. Echoing the Finance Minister’s words, he emphasized that the partnership between Central and State agencies is imperative for leveraging the enormous resource efficiencies of the private sector and for recycling public funds for new infrastructure creation.
Secretary, DIPAM, briefed the participants about monetization of non-core assets and disinvestment of public sector enterprises, including the transactions currently underway. He also highlighted the potential monetization opportunities for States and the pre-requisites for being successful in this regard.
Participants were provided a holistic overview of the asset monetization space through presentations on the experiences of asset owners from the public and private sectors.
Chairman, NHAI, shared his experience of successful monetization of National Highways through mechanisms such as Toll Operate Transfer and Infrastructure Investments Trust. Bringing in the State perspective in this space, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation discussed its experience in the monetization of the State expressway. Macquaire India, KKR and IndiGrid shared investors’ perspectives on selection and investment in brownfield assets. The various presentations made by the participants delineated the expectations of domestic and overseas institutional infrastructure investors, while investing in these assets.
The workshop discussed the various benefits and pre-requisites of leveraging private sector participation for monetization. It effectively conceptualized a collaborative partnership framework between Centre and States for realizing the country’s infrastructure vision and growth agenda.