Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), an apex professional organisation representing public sector enterprises (PSE) is promoting excellence in them and enabling them to be globally competitive. UD Choubey, director general, SCOPE spoke to Hindustan Times. Excerpts.
How has been the performance of central PSEs (CPSE) in the recent years, given that there is a slowdown in the broader economy?
I feel proud to say that CPSEs have been consistently improving their performance, productivity and profitability. Even during economic crisis and meltdown, there have been no cut backs on production, no pink slips etc. During 2011-12, the turnover of CPSEs increased by 23% to R18.42 lakh crore from R14.98 lakh crore in the previous year. CPSEs earned a net profit of about R1lakh crore and contributed R1.60 lakh crore to the central exchequer which is 21.4% of government revenue receipts.
Tell us about growing global competitiveness of PSEs?
Today more and more PSEs are emerging as self-reliant global corporate entities. Rated on competitive parameters like size, global competitiveness, technology capability, quality of products, human resource management, market performance, financial results, corporate governance and CSR practices their number is constantly increasing. The presence of Indian PSEs in Fortune 500 list is a testimony of their rising status. Four PSEs and one public sector bank lists in the top 500 world's largest companies in Fortune's global list 2012. Fourteen CPSEs and fourteen public sector banks also feature in Forbes 2012 List. Globalisation efforts of PSEs can be measured from the increase in their foreign exchange earnings which has increased to R1,24,492 crore during 2011-12 from R91, 774 crore last year.
Government hopes to raise R55,000 crore through disinvestment in 2013-14. What is your take on this?
SCOPE is not against listing of PSEs. However, the apex body feels that views of the Board of identified PSE for disinvestment must be taken into account for deciding the strategy and time frame in order to get the maximum value of equity. It has been observed in the past that government in its bid to raise resources has not been able to mobilise anticipated amount due to non conducive market conditions. Further the manner in which sell offs of government's equity in PSEs has gone about on discounted prices during 2012-13 has led to big loss in market capitalization of PSEs and has greatly destroyed shareholder's value. SCOPE urges the government to relook into whole process and strategies.
How would the new government guidelines change the CSR plans of CPSEs?
The revised set of CSR guidelines issued by the department of public enterprises focuses on capacity building, empowerment of communities, upliftment of marginalized and weaker section of society, promotion of green and energy efficient technologies and inclusive socio-economic development. An important provision is the active involvement of top management in carrying forward the projects for inclusive development of all sections of the society.