REKINDLING hope for revival of sick PSUs, the parliamentary standing committee on chemicals and fertilisers has recommended that the Union chemicals and fertilisers ministry provide Rs 113 crore to Pimpri-based public sector enterprise Hindustan Antibiotics Limited (HAL) as working capital and for payment of pending employee salaries.
Committee chairman...Anand Adsul, who visited HAL last weekend said: "The committee has spoken to Anant Kumar, Union minister for chemicals and fertilisers, about providing Rs 113 crore to HAL."
Adsul said that the panel members are visiting various PSUs that are sick or have shut down and are making recommendations to the ministry for their revival.
One of the hard nuts to crack for the government has been how to revive the sick PSUs and the Centre has been devising may ways to tackle with the thorny issues.
Earlier, a committee headed by NTPC Chairman Arup Roy Choudhury endorsed the Government’s view on revival of sick public sector undertakings with the help of cash-rich PSUs.
It may be pointed out that cash and bank balances of the 33 listed PSUs (excluding banks) stood at ₹1.33 lakh crore by end-March 2014, about 12 per cent of their assets.
The committee recently submitted its report to the ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises. It had been asked to examine the feasibility of cash-rich Maharatnas, Navratnas and other Central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) seeding a a joint venture (JV) company that would revive sick PSUs.
Heavy industries minister Anant Geete recently said there are 70 sick PSUs, of which 43 can be revived. However, according to an answer given by the ministry in Parliament, there were 61 sick CPSEs as on March 31, 2013, with over 1.53 lakh employees.
At present, sick PSUs are referred to the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) for revival, restructuring, sale or closure. A company is considered sick if it has accumulated losses in any financial year equal to 50 per cent or more of its average net worth during the four preceding years.Recently, the heavy industries ministry announced a plan to close six PSUs: HMT Watches, HMT Bearings, HMT Chinar Watch, Hindustan Photo Films, Hindustan Cables and Tungabhadra Steel.