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Thursday, Jun 20, 2002

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Govt mulls new classification beyond Navaratna for PSUs

Our Bureau

Mr Suresh Prabhu

NEW DELHI, June 19

THE Government is reviewing the system of signing memorandums of understanding (MoU) with State electricity boards (SEBs) and public sector undertakings to enable them adopt best management practices and may create a new category beyond the Navaratna status for PSUs based on latest positions.

This was stated by the Minister for Power, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Mr Suresh Prabhu, here today.

Addressing presspersons, the Minister said that the Government would evaluate the PSUs on the basis of their financial performance and size, among other things, to decide how much autonomy could be given to the various undertakings.

The performance of various PSUs will be thoroughly reviewed so that the status of Navaratna and Miniratna can be recommended on the basis of the latest position, Mr Prabhu said and added that the issue of giving `maharatna' status to huge companies such as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd may also be considered.

However, this is currently at the discussion stage and a final decision will be taken after consulting other Ministries, which will deliberate on the issue and a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary will evaluate and take the final decision, the Minister said.

Companies such as Bharat Heavy Electricals that have a proven track record should adopt best management practices in the world in areas such as marketing, HRD, R&D, he said.

Mr Prabhu also informed that a council has also been set up as a facilitator to help sort out various problems the automobile sector is facing by taking up various issues with related Ministries such as the Finance Ministry, Environment Ministry, Petroleum Ministry and the Surface Transport Ministry.

The council has been constituted after the Government's interaction with the automobile industry representatives recently. Similar interactions for the capital goods sector and the paper industry will be held next month, the Minister informed.

Mr Prabhu also said that the Ministry is considering a proposal to provide information about all the purchases made by the different public sector units.

Though these units would be free to go for their own purchases, the information will be available on the common portal, he said.

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