The central government proposes to introduce a new category of 'Maharatna' for big-sized, high-profit, public sector units (PSUs) that would be delegated substantially more powers in investment, mergers and acquisitions etc, an official release said.
The department of public enterprises (DPE) under the ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises had, in 1997, introduced the `Navratna' scheme for central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) that had comparative advantages and to support them in their drive to become global giants.
The boards of Navratna CPSEs have been entrusted with powers in the areas of investment in joint ventures / subsidiaries, human resources management, mergers and acquisitions, approval of foreign tours of directors etc.
At present, there are 18 such Navratna CPSEs in the country.
The current criteria for grant of Navratna status are size neutral. Over the years, some of the Navratna companies have grown very big and have been requesting for greater delegation of powers so as to help them further increase their operations, particularly in the global markets. The new category of 'Maharatna' is specifically intended to upgrade the larger Navaratna CPSEs, the release said.
The boards of Maharatna CPSEs will be granted higher operational powers. The introduction of Mahratana category of CPSEs is expected to enable the CPSEs to substantially expand their operations domestically as well as globally.
The process for the introduction of Maharatna category of CPSEs has already been initiated and is expected to be completed within next three months, the release added.
The ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises has drawn up a long term revival and restructuring programme for PSUs, with the aim of boosting the auto and capital goods sectors of the country.