With an aim to better utilise the infrastructure assets of the country, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rolled out the Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) on August 23. This is a four-year pipeline of the Centre’s brownfield infrastructure assets. The funds generated through this project is said to be used to push infrastructure.
In her speech, while announcing the Union Budget 2021-22, Sitharaman had emphasised asset monetisation as a means to raise innovative and alternative financing for infrastructure and made numerous key announcements in that regard.
During the NMP launch, she said the NMP address brownfield assets where investment is already being made and where the assets are either languishing or not monetised completely or under-utilised.
The government estimates state that a maximum monetisation by fiscal 2025 is likely to come from the road sector wherein Rs 1.6 lakh crore worth national highways of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have been identified.
Further, the estimates suggest other sectors from where the Centre can rake returns include railways and the power sector.
Considering the railways, the Centre has identified nearly 400 stations, 150 trains, and some tracks and woodsheds worth Rs 1.5 lakh for the NMP project. Whereas, for asset monetisation in the power sector, the Centre is looking forward to leverage some Rs 67,000 crore worth transmission lines from Power Grid and Rs 32,000 crore worth Hydro, Solar, and Wind projects from companies including NHPC, NTPC, and Neyveli Lignite.
As per the National Monetisation Pipeline project, the Centre is looking to monetise os of the assets through the InvIT mode or Public-Private Partnership concessions. For the mining sector, the Centre might explore auction and Mine Development Operator as mediums for monetisation while for the airports it may take the route to stake divestment.