Govt mulling greater autonomy for PSUs

The government is considering giving greater autonomy and empowerment to central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), a top official said. "More reforms are under consideration pursuant of CEOs of CPSEs meeting with prime minister Manmohan Singh," secretary in the department of public enterprises (DPE) O P Rawat said.

He was speaking at a seminar on 'Training Need Assessment in State Level Public Enterprises (SLPEs)' here on Saturday.

Rawat said several reforms such as memorandum of understanding (MoU) exercise, quarterly performance review and empowerment of board of companies, have been introduced for CPSEs. On October 23, the prime minister had convened a meeting of the heads of 25 CPSEs, such as ONGC, GAIL, NTPC, SAIL and BHEL.

The PSUs were clearly told that either they invest their huge surplus or pay it back as special dividend to the exchequer. At present, about 25 central PSUs have surplus funds worth R2.5 lakh crore.

Besides, issues related to environmental clearances, selection of independent directors, autonomy and empowerment of CPSEs, their disinvestment plans and professionalism in boards were also discussed during the meeting.

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