Govt To Start With MTNL Land Assets For Monetisation
The Centre has identified real estate and land assets of state-owned telecom services provider Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) to kick off the ambitious PSU asset monetisation programme.
MTNL’s assets identified for sale will be auctioned through the online e-bidding platform set up by MSTC. Bidding for MTNL assets will take place through MSTC, this will be the first one.
MTNL had identified assets including 36 acres in areas like Vasai Hill, Mulund and Simpholi in Mumbai, shop-cum-office complexes in Delhi and residential quarters in Noida, which will be monetised in the first phase. The feasibility study should be done within two to three months, after that bidding process should begin based on the discovered base price.
The government is developing a platform through MSTC for selling non-core assets of public sector enterprises, which will be coordinated by the department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM). Worth mentioning here is that the asset monetisation is part of the Rs 68,000-crore revival package for loss-making telecom public sector enterprises MTNL and Bharat Sanchar Nigam.
MTNL, which provides telecom service in Delhi and Mumbai, reported a loss of Rs 641 crore in the October-December quarter of current financial year. MTNL shares were trading 15.36% higher at Rs 16.15 apiece on the BSE as of 12:25 pm on Wednesday.
If the MTNL assets auction becomes successful, then government may look at land assets of BSNL for sale. Other PSEs such as BEML and Shipping Corporation of India may follow as carve out of their non-core assets has been made part of the preliminary information memorandum issued for strategic disinvestment, the ET report mentioned.
Even in the case of state-run companies not being divested, the government is strongly pitching for a carve out of non-core assets or de-merging and selling them to generate revenue for capital expenditure, reduce debt and improve efficiency. DIPAM has advocated that CPSEs should include asset monetisation and market capitalisation improvement in their memoranda of understanding with respective ministries.