Dáil Éireann - Volume 678 - 12 March, 2009

Written Answers. - Departmental Bodies.

Deputy Brian Hayes asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his plans to sell off or privatise State companies under the remit of his Department as part of a revenue raising programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10440/09]

  Deputy Seán Power: My Department is responsible for overseeing general policy and the State shareholder interest in a number of Commercial State Bodies — ESB, EirGrid, Bord Gáis Éireann, Bord na Móna, INPC, RTÉ, TG4 and An Post. These Bodies employ in the region of 23,300 and had a total turnover of some €6.7 billion in 2007 (the latest published figures). They play a critical role and, in most cases, hold strategic national infrastructure in the sectors in which they operate.

In line with Government policy in the matter, the Minister has no plans to sell off or privatise State companies under the remit of the Department as part of a revenue raising programme for Government.

The shareholder priority with respect to these companies currently is to ensure:

Profitable commercial operations,

Competitive provision of services to the economy as a whole,

Nationwide delivery of services in certain cases, and

A positive contribution to the strategic development of the sectors in which they operate, in areas such as infrastructure, development and environmental sustainability.

Question No. 58 answered with Question No. 32.