Sept. 2 – The government is considering awarding top state-owned companies the Maha Ratna status to give it more freedom to negotiate joint ventures, investments and grow capacity.
“My ministry will seek cabinet approval for elevating some of the Nav Ratna companies owned by the government to the Maha Ratna status provided their net profit is Rs.50,000,000,000 for three consecutive years,” Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was quoted as saying by The Economic Times at the sidelines of an official function.
He said that his department was finalizing the details of the new scheme in coordination with other ministries and once it is approved they will select the companies that qualify for the Maha Ratna status not including companies under the petroleum industry.
Top state-owned firms like Bharat Heavy Electricals, National Thermal Power Corporation and Oil & Natural Gas Commission are eligible for the Maha Ratna status.
The Maha Ratna status will not hinder with plans to disinvest government stake in profitable firms. Deshmukh said: “At any cost, disinvestment will be up to 49 percent so as to ensure the government’s majority holding will remain intact at 51 percent. There is no proposal before the ministry for disinvesting any stake in Bharat Heavy Electricals.”