Public sector undertakings in Orissa can now hire professionals as managing directors with the State Cabinet approving a proposal that would empower them to reconstitute their boards and induct professionals and independent directors.

“The State Cabinet has given approval to the Corporate Governance Manual (CGM). This will enable state PSUs to reconstitute their boards and induct professional and independent directors,” Industries Secretary Saurabh Garg said last evening.

The approval was given to make PSUs viable and profit making enterprises. Earlier, only senior government officers were appointed as PSU MDs.

The CGM would help improve accountability and ensure transparent and business—oriented decision—making, Mr. Garg said.

The guidelines in the manual drafted by Administrative Staff College of India would also be applicable to Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Orissa Ltd.

While 21 of the state’s 32 PSUs were identified as profit—making, nine registered losses and the remaining two were operating at no loss, no profit basis, he said.

The profit—making PSUs included Orissa Mining Corporation, Orissa Power Generation Corporation, Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, Orissa Hydro Power Corporation and Orissa Power Transmission Corporation.

For implementation of the CGM, PSU boards would have to sign Memorandum of Understanding with the government, Mr. Garg said.

All managing directors of profit—making PSUs would have to develop performance linked incentive schemes for implementation with approval from the government, he said.