PM to meet chiefs of blue-chip PSUs


Public sector companies plan to highlight interference by their administrative ministries in a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

The meeting is a first of sorts when the chiefs of PSUs will meet the Prime Minister along the line of his annual meeting with industry leaders from the private sector.

The meeting has become necessary as many of the companies are not sure how to navigate between the competing demands from the finance ministry which wants them to use their cash reserves productively while administrative ministries advise caution.

This has created an administrative bottleneck at the boardrooms of the large PSUs despite the freedom sought to be given them by the department of public enterprises.

Coal India's litigation with The Children's Investment Fund has begun as the coal ministry has decided on a price policy that militates against the long-term benefits of the company.

The meeting was initiated by Praful Patel, minister for heavy industries and public enterprises, and will bring together 25 PSU chiefs for the meeting with the Prime Minister. The group of 45 listed public sector companies had a market capitalisation of around Rs 15.06 lakh crore, which constituted about 22 per cent of total market capitalisation of the Bombay Stock Exchange as on 31 March 2011.

According to a release issued by the government, Tuesday's meeting will give opportunity to these enterprises "to convey their views to the Prime Minister on several key issues like autonomy and empowerment, including flexibility to their boards". They will also discuss disinvestment plans, improvement in their MoU system, future investment plans and capital expenditure as well as their plan to go international.

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