The government on Wednesday conferred Navratna status on three PSUs - Bharat Electronics Ltd, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Power Finance Corporation, giving them more financial and administrative powers.
With the conferment of the coveted status on the three companies by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, now 12 public sector enterprises are Navratna, the title originally meant for nine companies in 1997.
Speaking on the occasion, Chidambaram emphasised the UPA Government's commitment to strengthen public sector enterprises and emphasised that more autonomy should be given to these units.
He asked unlisted public sector companies to list on stock exchanges to unlock their true value.
These three PSUs will now be able to forge joint ventures both in India and abroad, which can be up to 15 per cent of their networth or Rs 1,000 crore, whichever is lower, without taking prior permission of the administrative ministry.
Moreover, the board will also have the power to decide on merger and acquisitions.
Heavy Industries Minister Santosh Mohan Deb said four more PSUs - National Aluminium Company, National Mineral Development Corp, Power Grid Corp and Rural Electrification Corp - would also be given Navratna status as soon as they fill all the vacancies for independent directors.