Kerala CM pitches against privatisation of PSUs

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday cautioned against privatising public sector undertakings in the country by the Centre and said the policy of the state government is to retain the PSUs as such and turn them profitable.

Announcing the takeover of the Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited-Electrical Machines Limited (BHEL-EML) in northern Kasaragod district, he said the government would prepare a masterplan for each PSU to expand and diversify its activities and make them capable of reaping profit. BHEL-Electrical Machines Ltd, Kasaragod, was a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) and a subsidiary of BHEL, a Maharatna company.

“The state government has decided to take over the PSU in view of the privatisation threat. Ours is a government which recognizes the significance of a public sector undertaking,” Vijayan said in a Facebook video. The PSU was taken over by spending a total of Rs 77 crore including Rs 43 crore for its revival, he said adding that the company would be given a fresh lease of life with advanced facilities. The state government also decided to give the salary arrears of the company employees who had been suffering for the last two years without any earning and a total of Rs 14 crore would be spent for the same, he said.

“Two kinds of approaches have been prevailing in our country with regard to public sector undertakings. One is to privatise them and the other is to strengthen such institutions further,” he said adding that privatisation was getting more priority after the recognition of the globalization policy.

Stressing that the state government is against the privatisation of PSUs, the Chief Minister also said its policy is to expand and diversify the institutions’ activities and thus turn them profitable. “For this, separate master plans will be prepared for each PSU in the state,” Vijayan added. The Kerala government had recently allowed BHEL to exit the joint venture (JV) with the state-run Electrical Machines Ltd.

It had also decided to purchase the shares in view of the Centre’s decision to disinvest its shares in BHEL-EML. While BHEL had 51 per cent stake in the PSU, the state government had 49 per cent share in the JV.