Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has announced an infrastructure asset monetization plan to generate ₹6 lakh crore ($81 billion) under the National Monetization Pipeline (NMP). It will serve as a medium-term road map for the government's asset sale initiative. NMP entails a four-year pipeline from 2022-2025 of the central government's brownfield infrastructure assets.
Railways, airports, and coal mining are the top three sectors identified for asset monetization where 15 railway stadiums, 25 airports, 160 coal mining projects will be put up for asset monetization. Roads, power transmission lines, and gas pipelines will also be part of the plan. The ownership of assets will remain with the government and there will be a mandatory hand back after a certain time.
The government is not selling off anything, only under-utilized assets will be monetized. According to Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, it is important to bring in the private sector for better operation and maintenance. He informed that the plan is about monetizing the existing asset base and using their proceeds for new infrastructure creation, recycling the future assets, and build a multiplier effect on growth and revive credit flow. In monetization of core infra assets, the ownership will continue to remain with the government and there will be a mandatory hand-back after the specified time period wherein the private sector will have to hand back the asset to the Centre.