Fear psychosis leading to risk aversion in PSUs: Panel

Fear psychosis leading to risk aversion in PSUs: Panel New Delhi: Noting that a "fear psychosis" is leading to risk aversion in PSUs and restraining performance, a committee has said that there is a need to create an independent panel, within the CVC, which can be consulted for prior advice in certain matters.

The Panel of Experts on Reforms in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), headed former SAIL Chairman S K Roongta, also said, "There is a growing culture of indecision and attitude of playing safe, flowing from an environment of suspicion and easy presumption of guilt while complaints are being entertained and dealt with."

"This can be reversed only with some strong signals that the government wants to change in this approach," the panel said in its report submitted to the Planning Commission.

Noting that a "fear psychosis relating to vigilance function is leading to risk aversion in CPSEs and inhibiting their performance", the panel recommended various steps.

"With regard to senior-level commercial/tender/contract management decisions which are now becoming increasingly complex, there is a need to create within the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), an independent panel of persons of proven integrity and with some domain knowledge, from whom prior advice in certain matters can be taken," the panel said.

It further recommended that a vigilance framework, which recognises that vigilance as a function is to be primarily performed by the management of a PSU, needs to be evolved in consultation with CVC.

Besides, the committee said, vigilance scrutiny, both within the organisation and by CVC/CBI, should have a clear distinction between cases of conscious and deliberate acts of granting an undue favour and cases which involve a procedural lapse.

"Whenever there is a deliberate and mala-fide act of decision for a gain, severe and swift action should be taken," it said.

As on March 31, 2012, there were 260 CPSEs in India.

The Panel of Experts was required to examine a range of issues inter-alia relating to HR & Corporate Governance, MoU system, effective partnerships with private sector, diversifications, among other issues.

PTI