The Prime Minister is eyeing the “significant” cash surplus with 24 rich public sector undertakings (PSUs) to tide over his government’s revenue shortfall in the current financial year and to keep the fiscal deficit within bounds.
Last Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office directed 10 ministries and departments to conduct a 12-month investment plan of the identified PSUs under them and report by November 15 the surplus they would hold beyond their investment needs.
Tables annexed with the PMO letter show that the government plans to ask these PSUs to use the surplus cash to buy back their shares held by the government. Numbers in the tables indicate two options: buyback at 5 per cent or at 10 per cent of the market capitalisation as of September 30.
“It is imperative that these surpluses, possibly leveraged suitably, be utilised productively,” says the PMO letter.