Parliament panel examines the Demands for Grants 2020-21 of Department of Public Enterprises

RSTV Bureau
File photo: Rajya Sabha Member, Dr. K. Keshava Rao

File photo: Rajya Sabha Member, Dr. K. Keshava Rao

The 31 Members Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry headed by Rajya Sabha Member, Dr K Keshava Rao, presented the 298th Report on Demands for Grants pertaining to the Department of Public Enterprises (Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises) to the Rajya Sabha.

The Department of Public Enterprises is the nodal department for all CPSEs and formulates policy guidelines on performance improvement and evaluation, autonomy, financial delegation and personnel management in CPSEs.

Expressing concern over the gradual decline in the number of permanent employees in CPSEs year after year, the Committee recommended that CPSEs should be encouraged to fulfil their social objectives and provide more permanent employment to people, instead of engaging personnel on casual and contract basis.

While expressing satisfaction over the almost 100% utilization of funds allocated under one of the Departments flagship schemes, ‘Research, Development & Consultancy (RDC)’ in North Eastern Region, the Committee also took serious note of the non-utilisation of funds allocated under its another flagship scheme ‘Counselling Retraining & Re-employment (CRR)’ to VRS/VSS optees/dependants in North Eastern Region.

The Committee also suggested several measures to revisit the CRR Scheme in North Eastern Region. The Committee also suggested organizing more job fairs in various States to promote re-deployment of the trained VRS/VSS optees/dependants under CRR Scheme.

Noting that the Government has already directed Maharatna & Navratna companies to review and enhance their Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), as it increases the productivity of the PSEs thereby improving economic growth, the Committee suggested the Department to conduct outreach programmes to sensitise CPSEs to leverage their net-worth for infusion into their CAPEX fund.

The professionalisation of boards of CPSEs being extremely essential for making CPSEs more competitive and viable in the emerging market economy as well as to ensure good corporate governance, the Committee recommended that the existing 313 vacant positions of Non-Official (Independent) Directors in the boards of various CPSEs may be filled up expeditiously.

The Committee also recommended reviewing the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) system to incorporate a new evaluation parameter on ‘Non-filling up of vacant posts of Non-Official Directors on the Boards of CPSEs’ as a deterrent for CPSEs which do not take action timely to fill up such vacant posts.

Regarding disinvestment of CPSEs, the Committee recommended that DPE should play a more pro-active role, especially in respect of those CPSEs which are already doing business in the ‘High Priority Areas’ & which require handholding to excel their performance. Also, while disposing of the land of CPSEs identified for closure/strategic disinvestment, the extant guidelines on the subject should be scrupulously followed and net-worth of the land should be calculated as per prevalent market rates.

Taking note of the various activities presently being undertaken by CPSEs under Corporate Social Responsibility (CRR) fund, the Committee recommended that the CPSEs should be sensitized about the new provisions in the revised guidelines such as theme-based activity to be undertaken every year, preference to be given to Aspirational Districts etc.

The Committee further recommend that CPSEs should desist from using CSR fund to supplement Government Schemes as the objective of CSR fund is to involve corporates in discharging their social responsibility with their innovative ideas and management skills and stressed the need to involve local representatives of the people such as MLAs/MLCs & MPs both at the time of selection and implementation of CSR projects.