The central government has monetised assets worth ₹1.56 lakh crore under National Monetisation Pipeline in the financial year 2023-24, against the target of ₹1.8 lakh crore, according to an official release. In the Union Budget 2021-22, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman launched the asset monetisation pipeline of Central ministries and public sector entities - National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), which was prepared by NITI Aayog in collaboration with the concerned Infrastructure Ministries.

This initiative outlines potential core assets of Central Government ministries and Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) for monetisation between 2021-22 and 2024-25.

The total target for the first two years under NMP, spanning 2021-22 and 2022-23, was approximately ₹2.5 lakh crore, of which about ₹2.30 lakh crore was achieved. The central government has monetised assets worth ₹3.85 lakh crore as part of the NMP in 3 years i.e. since fiscal year 2021-22, with ₹1.56 lakh crore generated from private sector involvement in infrastructure in the fiscal year 2023-24 alone, according to data released by Niti Aayog on Wednesday.

The NMP encompassed assets valued at ₹6 lakh crore in terms of monetisation potential over the span of four years, from FY22 to FY25. The NMP was established in September 2021 to attract private sector efficiency and raise funds for the central government through operational and revenue-generating infrastructure assets.

In 2023-24, several ministries surpassed 70% of their targets, including the Ministries of Road Transport and Highways (₹40,314 crore), Coal (₹56,794 crore), Power (₹14,690 crore), Mines (₹4,090 crore), Petroleum and Natural Gas (₹9,587 crore), Urban (₹6,480 crore), and Shipping (₹7,627 crore), according to Niti Aayog.

In FY24, the top achievers were the Ministries of Road Transport and Highways and Coal, collectively achieving ₹97,000 crore.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has previously emphasised that decisions regarding the monetisation of railways will prioritise the greater public good. Plans for the Railways to establish its own Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) have yet to materialise three years into the NMP.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the Centre plans to raise ₹10,000 crore from monetising ports in the current fiscal year, a sector that has performed well in terms of public-private partnerships (PPP).

To aid investors in planning their investments and accelerating the monetisation process, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has published a preliminary list of 33 assets to be monetised in 2024-25, according to Niti Aayog. Additionally, the Ministry of Road Transport now plans to raise ₹44,000 crore through private highway bidding under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model this fiscal year.

"The progress made by the Ministry of Coal under NMP would result in increased investment in the coal mining thereby improving energy security of the nation through increased coal production and its supply to the thermal power plants," Niti Aayog adds.

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