Govt to bring new guidelines for greater flexibility for PSUs

Govt to bring new guidelines for greater flexibility for PSUs New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said it will soon come out with fresh guidelines for public sector units that have Maharatna and Navratna status to enable them greater operational flexibility in achieving annual targets.

Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Praful Patel met the heads of Maharatna and few Navratna companies who made presentation to the minister on the issues facing them while meeting annual targets set in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government.

"The MoUs are fixed, but at times they are unrealistic. Targets cannot be met.... Maharatna and Navratna companies need more operational flexibility, so guidelines will have to be brought in place," Patel told reporters after the meeting.


Patel said there is a substantial merit in what these companies have stated.

"Ultimately if these companies have to become global companies, they will have to require more operational flexibility which we are very inclined to look at," he added.

At present, there are 5 Maharatna companies - ONGC, NTPC, IOC, SAIL and CIL and 16 Navratna companies, including BHEL and GAIL.

On when the new norms would be in place, Patel said, "We have to examine all the proposals made by the companies and we will do it in this financial year."

Talking about the need to review the current MoU system, he said, at the moment the annual targets system does not factor issues and fluctuations like prices of petroleum products and difficulties power and coal sectors are facing.

"The MoUs are fixed and there is no appeal or review mechanism in place at the moment. In case of Navratnas and Maharatnas, we propose to have a review and appeal mechanism for the annual targets fixed by them," Patel added.

Coal India Ltd, which accounts for 80 per cent of the domestic production, is faced with problems like less production on account of various regulatory hurdles including non-clearance to its expansion projects.

Due to this, power companies including NTPC are facing coal procurement problems leading to power shortage.

The MoUs are signed between the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and the administrative ministries/ departments. It is facilitated by the Department of Public Enterprises.

PTI