Public sector undertakings in India Current Affairs - 2020

Fifth Tranche of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced

On May 17, 2020, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced the fifth and final tranche of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The scheme is to implement several measures to fight COVID-19 at an allocated budget of Rs 20 lakh crore economic packages

Highlights

Under the fifth tranche of the scheme, the finance minister announced seven steps. This included MNREGA, health and education, decriminalization of Companies Act, businesses and COVID-19, Public Sector Enterprises, Ease of Doing Business, State Governments and related resources.

MNREGA

The GoI is to allocate Rs 40,000 crore for MNREGA scheme. This will help generate employment for 300 crore persons. It is to be noted that, earlier, the health and sanitation workers have been included under MNREGA. This was done during the phase of Swachh Bharat Mission.

The funds will be used to make additional enrolments under the scheme. Especially, the funds aim at employing the migrant workers who have returned to their home towns due to COCID-19.

Health and Education Sector

The health and education expenditure is to be increased. The GoI is to focus on improvising the infrastructure of these sectors. All districts will have infectious disease blocks set up. Also, public labs are to be set up at district level. A National Digital Health blueprint is to be implemented. Also, the GoI will increase research in health.

The top 100 universities are to be permitted begin online courses. “Mandodarpan”, an initiative to increase the psycho-social support of students, families and teachers is to be launched.

Also, an E-vidya programme to access digital and online education is to be launched. A TV channel focusing on students Classes 1 to 12 is to be launched.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

No fresh insolvency proceedings will be initiated for one year. A special Insolvency framework will be notified under Section 240-A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code.

The minimum threshold to initiate insolvency processes has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

Decriminalization Companies Act

The majority of compoundable offences under Companies act are to be shifted to internal adjudicating mechanism. This will de-clog National Company Law tribunal and the criminal courts in the country.

Ease of Doing Business

The private companies that list non-convertible debentures on stock exchanges are to be considered as listed companies. Also, direct listing of securities by public companies are to be done in permitted foreign jurisdictions.

Public Sector Enterprises

A new public sector policy is to be brought in by the GoI. The new policy will allow private sector to participate all the key sectors along with the public sector units. The policy will also strategize key sectors. The strategy will be brought in such a way that at least at least one public sector will be there in every strategic sectors. The number of enterprises to be present in strategic sectors are four.

State Governments

Just like the Central Government, the state governments are also witnessing sharp drop in revenues. Around Rs 46,038 crores have been so far devolved to state as tax revenue. The advancing limits of states have been increased by 60%. Also, the GoI increased the number of days a state shall stay in overdraft situation.

The Central Government will now allow the states to borrow up to 5% of GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product). This means that the states can now borrow an additional amount of Rs 4.28 lakh crores.

NPCC conferred Miniratna Category–I status

Union Government has conferred status of Miniratna: Category–I to National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC). The empowerment of miniratna status to NPCC will help company to take speedy decisions by enhancing delegation of powers to Board.

National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC)

NPCC is schedule ‘B’ Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under administrative control of Ministry of Water Resources. It incorporated in 1957. It is premier construction company having mandate with creation of infrastructure to provide impetus for economic development of the country. It also has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 Certification. NPCC is making continuous profit since 2009-10 and is having positive networth for last six years. It has ambitious business plan with enhanced order book position of Rs. 11833 crore.

Background

Department of Public Enterprises under Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises grants status of Maharatna, Navratna, and Miniratna to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) based upon profit made by these enterprises. These statuses give financial and administrative power to the companies to a certain extent. At present there are total 8 Maharatna, 16 Navratna, 60 Miniratna Category-I and 15 Miniratna Category-II CPSEs.