Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that the government will soon come out with a policy on new public sector enterprises (PSEs) to define strategic sectors which will not have more than four PSUs.

As part of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, the finance minister had earlier talked about a policy where a maximum of four public sector companies in strategic sectors, and state-owned firms in other segments will eventually be privatised. In other sectors, PSEs will be privatised for which timing to be based on feasibility.

“We are working on it … it should go to Cabinet soon,” she said in an interaction with media when asked about the strategic sector list. Further, she added that there could be various models to achieve a minimum of four PSUs in case of those falling under the strategic sector. Either they will be merged, or they will be brought together in such a way that there are only four or lesser.

As per media reports, banking, insurance, defence, atomic energy, space, oil and railway could be declared as strategic sectors and accordingly their restructuring could take place. Reports suggest, as of now there are as many as 250 central public sector enterprises (CPSEs)

“We would like to announce a PSE policy (as) a self-reliant India needs a coherent policy. All sectors will be opened to private sectors also. PSEs will continue to play an important role in defined areas. We need a coherent policy because sometimes you open up some sectors in piecemeal… Now we shall define the areas… where their presence will be impactfully felt,” Sitharaman had said while announcing the package.

Speaking about the state of economy, she said it is definitely trying to come out of difficulty but would be difficult to get a complete picture at this point of time due to uncertainty around the pandemic. Value chains are getting disrupted due to containment zones in many parts of the country because of the pandemic, she explained.

Emphasising that the Prime Minister is speaking with various stakeholders on regular basis to get feedback on the evolving situation, she said the government is keeping all options open to help support the economy. There are some kinds of green shoots but the government is cautious about these parameters, she said, adding that the economy is at a stage where every sector is trying to beat pandemic and revive.

“Hopefully this spirit will help revive the economy, and the government is willing to hear and keep all options open…RBI has reached out to the industry with liquidity, and other than just monitoring inflation it has also kept growth in mind. The economy will benefit from this,” she said.