Perception about PSUs not good, needs to be changed, says Paswan

Learn from China that doesn’t celebrate Diwali, but sells crackers and diyas to us says the minister at Governance Now PSU awards

GN Bureau | November 8, 2014


Ram Vilas Paswan, union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution
Ram Vilas Paswan, union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution

Ram Vilas Paswan, minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, government of India, who has a long experience of handling public sector undertakings (PSUs) in his capacity as minister in various portfolios like railways, steel and coal said there was no dearth of either talent or money for PSUs. But, he added, the perception about PSUs was not very good.

Paswan said with liberalisation, competition had increased but the perception about PSUs remained the same.

“Air India had a monopoly at one point of time. But today so many airlines are performing well under stiff competition. People today prefer a private airline that, according to them, serves good food, or because they believe the government airline might not takeoff at the right time. This needs to change” he said.

Similarly, we have seen great changes in the telecom sector, he said. “First it was only the BSNL and its service was poor. It took months for a commoner’s problem to be resolved, but an influential person’s telephone was never out of order. Now the same company is operating alongside private players, playing by new rules and giving good service. So, why can’t PSUs perform and change this perception?” he asked. 

The minister also said that the work culture at PSUs has to match with that of the private sector.

“We spend huge money on projects but do not get the desired result because our motivations do not match up to those working in the private sector. The political executive even if it has a good intention, cannot bring a revolution without the equal support of bureaucratic executives and PSU managers. PSUs should take a leap forward in CSR activities,” he added.

Underlining the strength of PSUs at the time of economic slowdown, Paswan said, Indian PSUs stood firm even when the economies all over the world were facing acute pressures.

He also highlighted the need for overhaul of the manufacturing sector in the country. “Look at the way China is doing it. It even produces crackers and diyas for Diwali, when they themselves do not celebrate it.”

He hoped that prime minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign will help push India’s manufacturing sector to grow. And PSUs can have a greater role to play in this campaign through greater emphasis on quality and productivity.

He also said PSUs should more actively participate in CSR activities and adopt villages.

 

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