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BW Businessworld

New Policy To Help PSUs Buy Overseas Assets

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The government on Thursday unveiled a new policy which accords greater autonomy to profit-making PSUs in acquiring raw material assets abroad, and said it will also consider setting up a sovereign wealth fund.

"While some countries have already taken the lead in acquiring the sources of raw material assets globally, Indian companies have not been very assertive. Today, the Cabinet approved the policy for acquisition of raw material assets abroad by CPSEs," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters after the meet.

The new policy, aimed at facilitating faster acquisitions, proposes to enhance the investment limit by Navratna firms to Rs 3,000 crore from present Rs 1,000 crore for any asset buy out. Any additional amount beyond the prescribed limit would require the government's nod.

"Navratna companies have been given powers for acquiring assets up to Rs 3,000 crore as against Rs 1,000 crore.

Rs 1,000 crore in today's context is very small," said Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Secretary S Sundareshan.

An empowered committee of Secretaries, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, would be formed to make quick decisions in cases where the buyout amount exceeds the limit set by the government. For Maharatna firms, the limit is Rs 5,000 crore.

Powers delegated to the boards of Maharatna and Navratna firms would be enhanced for such acquisitions and a Coordinating Committee of Secretaries (CCoS) headed by the Cabinet Secretary would be formed to examine proposals where the buyout amount exceeds the funding amount allocated by the government.

The CCoS will facilitate quick and coordinated decision-making, coordinate the grant of concessional credit to foreign enterprises, recommend government funding and decide about the nature of such funding on a case-to-case basis, an official statement said.

(PTI)