. Recently, the government has announced that it will be using three public sector enterprises (PSEs) for manufacturing Covaxin to augment the manufacturing capacity under Mission COVID Suraksha.
Apart from it, several PSEs in the steel, petroleum and natural gas sectors have supplemented the efforts of the government in making available liquid medical oxygen as well as transportation of it.
PSEs in India, since their inception, have played a pivotal role in realising the objective of achieving higher growth and equitable socio-economic development of the country. Their sustained contribution to the economic and social fabric of the country has become even more relevant in the present scenario.
Relevance of PSEs
- India, Not Yet A Developed Economy: Historically, PSEs have provided a very strong infrastructure base for the economy as well as for the industry. Further, PSEs were set up with socio-economic objectivity and not only profit have created a right kind of infrastructure for the economy.
- PSEs were regarded as one of the key generators of remunerative employment in the formal sector, providing safe and secure jobs.
- The contribution of PSEs towards creation of national assets in the initial decades following Independence is particularly noteworthy, especially in sectors that are regarded as high risk and low return on investments by the private sector.
- Indian PSEs are already present across the globe in regions such as the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America and there is tremendous potential for Indian CPSEs and PSEs to expand their global footprint further by enhancing their competitiveness.
- There is a need to revisit the PSE policy, but more in terms of their functioning. These companies should be run by a professional board without government interference.
- For the industry’s future growth and development, the government also needs to urgently focus on providing support in some key areas in the following domains: revival of PSUs, land, finance/banking/working capital, utilities and services, environmental issues and R&D.
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