Says public sector units must explore newer areas of development, scale up and derive benefits from tech
The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked public sector enterprises to gear up for competition from the private sector in the identified core and strategic areas where public sector has been in a dominant position.
Public sector enterprises in sectors such as manufacturing, services, aerospace, mining, and defence must scale up and bring professionalism in operations to compete with the private sector, Sitharaman said.
“It is now time for public sector enterprises (PSEs) to show that you are very keen to improve upon your professionalism, as much as you have done between 1991 and now. And where possible, also in order to bring down overheads, it might be worth looking at private participation together with what you are doing,” Sitharaman said addressing the heads of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) at the inauguration of an exhibition showcasing the contribution of government-owned companies in nation-building at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on Thursday.
The Finance Minister said even before Independence, under the colonial rule, several large private industries existed and did well giving a competition to the PSEs. “That became a game changer with the PSEs realising to improve on their efficiencies and scale up and reduce overheads. That brought a change in the spirit of governance at the PSEs,” Sitharaman said.
The Minister referred to the Union Budget of 2021, when the new PSE policy was announced opening up public sector for private participation.
” The PSEs will have to look at opportunities, newer areas of development, scale up possibilities and ways to benefit from web3, Industry 4.0, deep data etc. So, the knowledge component of technology and digitised benefits can go to production and achieve better efficiencies,” Sitharaman said adding it’s time PSEs derived maximum benefit from technology and scaled up their efficiency.
The exhibition titled ‘Nation Building and CPSEs’ was inaugurated by the Finance Minister in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Union Secretary for Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and other top government officials besides the heads of the central government companies. CPSEs, including Coal India, Steel Authority of India, GAIL and NTPC, and others were among 75 PSEs that set up stalls at the exhibition, which will be open to the public between June 10 and 12.