KARNATAKA

Centre plans ‘Maharatna’ status for exemplary PSUs

New facility: Union Minister for Heavy Industries and PSUs Vilasrao Deshmukh at the BHEL unit in Bangalore on Tuesday.

New facility: Union Minister for Heavy Industries and PSUs Vilasrao Deshmukh at the BHEL unit in Bangalore on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Special Correspondent

The new status is likely to come into effect in about a month

BANGALORE: The Union Government is set to introduce a new apex status of “Maharatna” for categorising those PSUs with exemplary performance. The new status, which will be superior to the “Navaratna”, is expected to come into effect in about a month, according to Union Minister for Heavy Industries and PSUs Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Speaking to presspersons after inaugurating the upgraded solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility of the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in Bangalore, Mr. Deshmukh said at present there was a thinking to confine the new status to those PSUs recording an annual profit of Rs. 5,000 crore for three consecutive years. However, the eligibility norms were yet to be finalised.

As per the proposal, the PSUs getting the “Maharatna” status would get more autonomy in their functioning, the Minister said.

Replying to queries, he sought to allay fears on disinvestment of PSUs and said it was a policy of the UPA Government not to disinvest more than 49 per cent of the stake in any PSU.

The Minister also announced that he would visit the HMT unit, which is in the red, in Bangalore on Wednesday. He declined to comment further on the purpose of his visit and said he would deliberate on the issue after the visit.

Hailed

Addressing a function organised by the BHEL on its premises to mark the inauguration of its upgraded facility, Mr. Deshmukh hailed the staff and management of the BHEL for its impressive performance and good reputation.

Meanwhile, the BHEL increased its solar photovoltaic module manufacturing facility at its Electronics Division in Bangalore from 3 MW to 8 MW. The upgraded unit with a state-of-the-art facility will enable the BHEL to manufacture large and thinner solar silicon wafers.

BHEL Bangalore Division Executive Director Ganapathiraman said company was in the final stage of setting up a joint venture with the BEL for establishing a 250MW photovoltaic production facility for processing silicon wafers, solar cells and PV modules. BHEL Chairman and Managing Director Ravikumar, Minister of State for Heavy Industries Arun Yadav, Secretary to Ministry of Heavy Industries S.N. Das spoke.

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