Heaving a sigh of relief, the apex association of Public Sector Enterprises, SCOPE, on Friday commended the Centre for shelving privatisation of 13 PSUs, earmarked by the NDA regime, and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to impart them greater fiscal and functional autonomy.
"We are aware of the disaster that would have taken place with the privatisation of these companies," S M Dewan, Director General of Standing Conference on Public Enterprises, said in a communication to the Prime Minister's office.
The government had announced earlier this week in Parliament that privatisation of 13 PSUs, listed out by the NDA coalition, including NALCO, STC and Shipping Corporation, would not be carried out.
Responding to the government's move, SCOPE, which has been propagating partial divestment in PSUs for widening their equity base, said all these organisations have been playing an admirable role in the economic development of the country.
"Organisations like Nalco, RCF, Shipping Corporation, STC have been acting as a countervailing force against private monopolistic situations," it said.
The communication pointed out that since the launch of Economic Policy 1991, central PSUs have been performing very well and have smoothly adapted to the new economic regime.
"UPA government's positive policies towards the public sector have acted as a morale booster to CPSUs. This is visible from the Economic Survey 2003-04 presented in Parliament recently," it said.
Government's policy of strengthening the public sector and restructuring and reviving sick PSEs have helped many loss making enterprises to come out of red, it said noting that there was a 64 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 53,168 crore (Rs 531.68 billion) by central PSUs.
The profit of profit-making companies had increased to Rs 61,568 crore (Rs 615.68 billion) from Rs 43,226 crore (Rs 432.26 billion) last year, it said.Lauding government's move for setting up an adhoc group of experts on empowerment of CPSUs and Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises, the communication asked the government to implement the recommendations of the group at the earliest.