that the year witnessed. Hee are few crucial developments in the sector.
Pact to set up India’s largest refinery signed by oil PSUs
State-run oil marketing PSUs Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Limited (HPCL) on December 7 signed an agreement to build India's biggest oil refinery at a cost of $30 billion. The project for the 60-million tonne per annum (MTPA) refinery in Maharashtra has Indian Oil as the consortium leader. Indian Oil will have a 50 per cent stake in the project. Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum will have 25 per cent each.
BHEL to form JV with Kawasaki for metro coaches
Maharatna PSU BHEL (Bharat Heavy Industries Limited) and Japanese company Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) are likely to form a joint venture to make locomotives and steel coaches for metro trains in India. A media report says talks are on in this regard. If the two firms join hands, BHEL's Bhopal unit will be able to raise its turnover by Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore.
BSNL records six-fold jump in operating profits
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has reported nearly six-fold jump in operating profit during 2015-16 at Rs 3,855 crore from Rs 672 crore in the previous fiscal year. The revenue from operation turned out to be highest in the last five years. BSNL's revenue from operation rose 4.4 percent to Rs 28,449 crore during financial year ended March 2016.
MTNL to offer VRS to employees
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) employees may soon get a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) offer of Rs 1000 crore, following an nod from the Telecom Commission, the highest policymaking body of the department of telecommunications (DoT), in April this year. The ministry of communications will seek the Cabinet's approval on the same, in order to cut down high staff cost.
Government gives go ahead for strategic sale of ailing PSUs
Central Government has approved an ambitious plan to sell loss-making PSUs, subsidiaries and select manufacturing plants to strategic buyers. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has allowed for strategic sales through a two-stage auction process. The process will involve submitting technical and financial bids. The ailing or loss making PSUs approved for strategic sale include Scooters India, Pawan Hans, Hindustan Newsprint and units of Cement Corporation of India, said a media report.
NTPC set to cross a new milestone by March
NTPC is all set to cross the milestone of over 50,000 MW installed power generation capacity by March-end 2017 with expected addition of over 4,630 MW. The NTPC Group, including its joint ventures and other subsidiaries, will have over 50,000 MW of installed power generation capacity by the end of this fiscal.
SBI ATM blocking episode
Move by some leading banks including the largest state-owned lender State Bank of India blocking their ATM cards has indeed sent shockwaves among the users. They have asked users either to replace or ask users to change the security codes of as many as 3.2 million debit cards. This has become as one of the biggest ever breaches of financial data in the country. Several victims have reported unauthorised usage from locations in China. Of the cards, 2.6 million are said to be on the Visa and Master-Card platform and 600,000 on the RuPay platform. The worst-hit of the card-issuing banks are State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank among others.
17 sick PSUs that will be closed down
Centre has set the stage for the closure of 17 sick public sector units (PSUs), of which four are already under liquidation. Reports say the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has approved the closing down and a Cabinet note on the formal closure of the PSUs was being prepared. The land these PSUs will be sold. Lease-held land will have to be disposed of in keeping with the terms of the lease agreements. The NITI Aayog, tasked with preparing a roadmap for ailing PSUs, had submitted two separate lists of ailing and loss-making PSUs — one comprising those that can be closed down and the other of those where government can divest its stake.
Here is a complete list of sick PSUs facing closure
Tungabhadra Steel Products
STCL Ltd (Formerly Spice Trading Corporation of India)
Central Inland Water Transport Corporation
Bharat Wagons and Engineering
Hindustan Organic Chemicals (nine out of 14 plants to be closed)
Hindustan Vegetable Oil Corporation
HMT Chinar Watches
Indian Oil-CREDA Biofuels
National Jute Manufactures Corporation
Tyre Corporation of India
Hindustan Photo Films Manufacturing.
Panel pitches for defence PSU status to India’s first PSU
A Parliamentary panel has asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to take up once again the proposal to grant defence PSU status to Indian telephone Industries (ITI) with the Department of Defence Production. ITI was established in 1948 as India's first PSU. Ever since, as a pioneering venture in the field of telecommunications, it has contributed to 50% of the present national telecom network.
Expressing disappointment due to “lack of follow-up action”, the Standing Committee on IT has said the proposal needs to be “favourably considered” as it will increase the state-owned telecom company’s prospects of getting more work orders, an agency report said.
No operating loss for Air India this year: Civil Aviation Minister Raju
Air India has not made an operating loss even though its financial condition continues to be “precarious”. It was stated by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathy Raju. Replying to a question on the financial condition of the national carrier after its merger with Indian Airlines, the minister said “after many years, this is the first year it has not made an operating loss. It is going in the right direction and I think if this effort continues, it will be an airline we will all be proud of.”
Seventh Pay Commission
Finance Ministry has notified the salary hike based on Seventh Pay Commission recommendations. This means lakhs of government employees will receive higher salaries likely from next month. The notification is dated July 25, 2016. About 1 crore employees and pensioners will benefit from the pay hike, effective from January 1, 2016. The recommendations cover 47 lakh Central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners. This includes 14 lakh serving employees and 18 lakh pensioners in defence forces. The entry level pay has been raised to Rs 18,000 per month from current Rs 7,000 with effect from January 1, 2016, while the maximum pay, drawn by the Cabinet Secretary, has been fixed at Rs 2.5 lakh per month from current Rs 90,000. The notification provided for a consolidated monthly pay package of Rs 4.5 lakh for chairpersons of sector regulators and Rs 4 lakh for their members. These included Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Competition Commission of India, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority, and Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India.
Union Budget and PSUs
Rural economy and infrastructure were his main focus areas when Finance Minister presented the Union Budget for 2016-17, his third as the Finance Minister. The PSUs that had lot of expectations from the minister were not happy though they found reference in the annual financial document. Here are some key features outlined in the Budget that have a direct bearing on the sector. A new policy for management of government investment in public sector enterprises, including disinvestment and strategic sale, was approved. The government will soon come out with a comprehensive policy for strategic stake sale that will detail the mode as well as valuation methodology for outright sale of even profit making companies. The policy would cover both profit and loss making CPSEs, much on the lines of the report of two Disinvestment Commissions which had submitted their reports in the previous NDA regime. The PSUs will now have to monetise their idle assets for new investments. The FM has also announced the renaming of the Department of Disinvestment to Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). Jaitley said the NITI Aayog will identify the state-owned companies which would be eligible for strategic sale.