The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Same old story of missed targets

Bangalore, Jan. 24 (PTI): Disinvestment minister Arun Shourie today indicated that the government had virtually discarded the Rs 12,000-crore target to be realised from disinvestment proceeds in the current fiscal, saying lack of unanimity on the process was hurting the efforts.

“Court cases...State government saying one thing or the other...What is the point in having a target '...I do not now regard any figure as a target,” Shourie told reporters on the sidelines of an open house on the Exim policy here.

“Unless everybody puts his shoulder to the same wheel, no target can be achieved,” he said.

“If we pursue a target, you will say we are doing so just to bridge the fiscal deficit,” he said.

He added that proceeds in the region of around Rs 3,500 crore had so far been realised from disinvestment in the current fiscal.

When asked, “if everything goes well, will HPCL and BPCL be disinvested,” Shourie said he could not say. “In India anything can be tripped anytime,” he said. There could be a PIL or strike, the minister said.

Shourie said he does not believe that exports would be adversely affected by the rupee appreciating against the dollar and depreciating against other hard currencies.

“Everything has a two-fold effect,” he said when asked if a strong rupee would be a disincentive to exports. “The strengthening of the rupee testifies to a good export performance. It also perhaps testifies to arbitrage,” said shourie, who earlier addressed an open house meet on exim policy.

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