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|October 18, 1999||
Manohar Joshi to focus on autonomy for PSUs, divestment, foreign investment in heavy industries
The government will carry forward the liberalisation process with more foreign and Indian investment in industries, review the position on grant of autonomy to the public sector undertakings including navratna (nine gems) companies and speed up the process of forming joint ventures in the 24 identified public sector units, Manohar Joshi, minister for heavy industries and public enterprises, said.
He said the position regarding grant of autonomy to the PSUs including navratna and mini-navratna companies would be reviewed to make them more independent in their operations. He said he would immediately review the hundreds of rules and guidelines which continue to bind these companies down.
Joshi said the programme of divestment would be pursued with greater urgency and commitment as more resources are to be raised and greater outside skills are to be infused in the management of various public sector undertakings.
Joshi said the future of the Divestment Commission is under discussion and the matter will be taken up by the Union Cabinet. He said he has received the resignation of the commission's chairman G V Ramakrishna.
Joshi also held discussions with senior officials of various departments under the revamped ministry. The reorganised ministry includes the departments of heavy industry and public enterprises, divisions dealing with heavy engineering industry and auto industry in the department of industrial policy and promotion.
Joshi said the government has not taken any decision on diluting government's share in Maruti Udyog Limited.
He said the goal of his ministry would be to carry forward the process of liberalisation and usher in an industrial regime with more foreign and Indian investment in the industries under him. However, the revival of sick PSU units merely for the sake of keeping them going cannot be justified any longer, he said.
"Our PSUs have to learn to survive and stand on their own feet in the new competitive and market-driven environment," he said.
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