New ranking system to be introduced for PSUs

By S.R. Praveen

The State government is planning to introduce a ranking and classification system for public sector units (PSUs) on the lines of the Maharatna and Navaratna classification of the Central PSUs, with the organisations in the top category having more autonomy in their functioning.

Industries Minister P. Rajeeve told The Hindu on Saturday that the ranking system to be introduced would be based on the overall performance review of the PSUs and other parameters.

“Currently, the processing of the master plans submitted by the PSUs are in the last stage. The final review will be held on September 15. After that, a performance review of the PSUs will be conducted, based on which the new rating system will be implemented,” said Mr. Rajeeve.

The classification of the PSUs would be in four categories—diamond, gold, silver and bronze—based on parameters including net worth, turnover, number of employees, revenue per employee, sales per capital employed, profits before tax, and investments.

“One of the aims of the system is financial functional autonomy with accountability. For a company in the diamond category, there will be a higher level of autonomy. Many decisions can be taken at the company level, without coming to the government. There is anyway a representative of the government in the director board, who can place the government’s opinion in any matter at the board,” said Mr. Rajeeve.

An expert committee, which had submitted a report last year on the PSUs, had put forward a model classification recommending seven of them for the top category—Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML), Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra), Kerala State Industrial development Corporation (KSIDC), Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC), Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE), Beverages Corporation (Bevco), and Kerala State Backward Classes Development Corporation (KSBCDC).

The authority for approving classification of all State PSUs will be with the Public Enterprises Board (PEB), with the classification based on the data for the past five years. The committee has recommended that the classification of PSUs may be reviewed once in every three years based on the criteria for classification and the PSUs may be upgraded or downgraded after such review.

The Union government introduced the Navratna scheme in 1997 for Central PSUs, with the top-rated companies getting powers in the areas of capital expenditure, human resources management, and investment in joint ventures. The Maharatnas can undertake mergers and acquisitions as well as make equity investments to establish joint ventures.

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