The government is working towards meeting the Rs 40,000 crore target it had set from selling off stake in state-owned firms in the current fiscal, the Minister of State for Finance said on Thursday

The government is working towards meeting the Rs 40,000 crore target it had set from selling off stake in state-owned firms in the current fiscal, Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam said on Thursday.

With barely two months to go before the 2013-14 fiscal ends, the government has so far garnered only about Rs 3,000 crore from PSU stake sale proceeds.

Unlikely to meet the ambitious disinvestment target, it is counting on higher dividends from PSUs and banks to keep its fiscal deficit under check.

“Still, we are on... March is far. We are doing our best.

We can’t quantify (the amount how much will be met). The process is on,” Mr. Seelam told reporters on the sidelines of the Assocham summit on Non-Banking Finance Companies-Game Changers.

Addressing the conference, he said that NBFCs should play a bigger and a pivotal role in lending to the priority sector.

“Compared to the banks, you are closer to the people. You do recovery early. You should do more for MSME sector,” Mr. Seelam said, adding that there is also scope to see as to how NBFCs can play a role in lending to the sectors where banks are not interested or hesitant.

On growth, Mr. Seelam said it has to be exponential.

He also said that the government is committed to fiscal prudence. “We will not cross the red line of 4.8 per cent of fiscal deficit.”

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