The high-powered Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), comprising of ministries of finance, power, Department of Public Enterprises and Planning Commission, has cleared power major NTPC Ltd’s name for being accorded the coveted maharatna status.
Senior government officials told Hindustan Times that the IMC in its March 29 and April, 5 meeting considered the proposals for granting maharatna status to Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), NTPC Ltd, Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOC) and Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC).
“NTPC’s name stands cleared for maharatna status,” the official said. “Keeping in view the performance of the company and the fact that it fulfilled the laid down criteria for the grant of maharatna status, the IMC has decided to recommend the grant of maharatna status to NTPC,” the minutes of the March 29 meeting of IMC (in possession of HT) said.
The enhanced delegation to NTPC under the maharatna scheme will facilitate the overseas acquisitions planned by NTPC, giving the company's board financial freedom to take investment decisions up to Rs 5,000 crore.
NTPC meets most of the criteria laid for a maharatna company. It already holds the navratana status, is a listed company and recorded an average annual turnover in excess of Rs 25,000 crore during the last three years. Moreover, its board has nine non-official directors according to Securities and Exchange Board of India /DPE guidelines and the company reported an average annual net profit after tax of more than Rs 5,000 crore at Rs 7,494 crore during the last 3 years.
“NTPC is thus eligible to exercise maharatna powers,” the IMC document noted.