The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, has called upon PSUs to innovate and see whether they can partner with the agricultural sector to enhance farm productivity, especially in the rain-fed areas. An individual farmer is basically a private entrepreneur, so a combination of private entrepreneur and PSU working together, will turn out to be a great venture, she said.
The President was speaking here today on the occasion of inauguration of ‘Public Sector Day’ being celebrated for the first time by Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) and Department of Public Enterprises. The President complimented the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and SCOPE for having taken this initiative on the day when in 1973 SCOPE was formed. Complimenting the Public Sector the President observed that India was the second fastest growing economy in the world during the global crisis. This is a reflection of the increasing strength and resilience of the Indian economy, of which the Public Sector is a component, she added. She further said that PSUs must undertake their operation in a manner that are least damaging to the environment and seek to maximise benefit to society.
The president impressed upon the Public Sector that it should be their endeavour to maintain the high level of standards so that these become best practices in the industry, setting benchmark for other companies to emulate.
Felicitating the Chief Executives and the employees of PSUs who received the SCOPE Meritorious Awards today, she said that the awards were recognition of the excellent performance of the companies.
Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in his key note address underlined the fact that Government favoured functional autonomy to Navaratna and Miniratna companies and also wanted to give more autonomy to those companies which qualify criteria for Maharatna status. He made mention of special measures taken by Government to turn loss making companies into profit making companies. To improve the performance of state level public enterprises, Government had suggested the concepts of corporate social responsibility and MOU, he added.
The Minister also released a study conducted by SCOPE titled “The emerging public sector – new vision of a national treasure” and presented its first copy to the President.
In his address Sri Arun Yadav, Minister of State for Heavy industries and Public Enterprises said that Government will continue to take appropriate measures to strengthen PSUs. He said that it was our solemn obligation to ensure growth of PSUs on a continuous basis.
In the subsequent technical session chaired by Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, on the theme of ‘relevance of state owned enterprises in the global scenario’, Shri Ahluwalia said that SCOPE should do an assessment of project management skills of Public Sector in view of the prevailing perception of weak management skills of the Public Sector.
Senior Government officers, policy planners, and chief executives of major PSUs were also present on the occasion.