PM directs officials to address PSU concerns

PM directs officials to address PSU concernsIndian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed central government officials to take steps to address concerns expressed by public sector companies in implementing their plans.

Leading 20 PSUs including Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Indian Oil, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) are planning to invest a whooping Rs. 1, 76,000 crore during the current financial year but their projects have been delayed due to various reason like shortage of coal and delays in environmental clearance.

The problems being faced by the PSUs were brought to the notice of the PM on Monday at a meeting that was also attended by heavy industries minister Praful Patel and finance minister P. Chidambaram.

Officials indicated that Dr. Singh directed the cabinet secretary to take steps to address their concerns.

There was a demand for the PM to constitute a committee of secretaries for the purpose of resolving issues relating to coal, power and environment and forest clearances for the companies. Patel said a committee of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth will be constituted to address the concerns raised by the PSU's.

Meanwhile, FM has asked the PSU's to invest their huge cash stock of Rs. 2.5 lakh crore in new projects of risk being imposed with higher dividend to the government in order to help address the fiscal deficit.