Autonomous powers to Kerala PSUs mooted

Panel lists 28 areas where autonomous powers can be granted to boards of directors and managements of PSUs.

A push towards granting additional powers to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in Kerala through autonomy, even as ensuring accountability in all areas, forms the core of an expert committee report submitted to the state government.

Prepared under the instructions of the Government of Kerala seeking suggestions on granting autonomous powers to the PSUs in the wake of a masterplan being implemented aiming at the expansion and diversification of PSUs in the state, the expert committee has mooted autonomous powers to the public sector enterprises.

One of the major challenges faced by the public sector enterprises is the crucial delay in taking decisions, even in routine daily activities. The delay gets even worse in the case of major works, such as renovation or replacement of machinery.

Transparent, timely, efficient implementation of projects visualised

The expert committee was constituted to give practical guidelines on the criteria for granting financial powers and autonomy to public sector enterprises for the transparent, timely and technically efficient implementation of projects they undertake.

The expert committee has listed 28 areas where autonomous powers can be granted to the board of directors and managements of public sector enterprises. Some of the key areas are finance, project implementation, human resource, general administration, commercial, asset management, partnership and procurement. The expert committee has also recommended granting more powers to enterprises that display better performance.

The committee also mooted adherence to Corporate Governance Guidelines and Companies Act 2013 so as to ensure accountability. The system of signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) has also been recommended in areas related to timely release of funds allocated in budget, addressing issues related to wages, matters related to purchase policy and its procedures and corporate governance.

Expert panel recommendations for PSUs submitted

The committee also recommended the efficient members of board of directors and independent directors to give more emphasis to the tasks related to the responsibilities of the board, management as well as the audit committee. These recommendations are expected to strengthen the public sector enterprises to face challenges more efficiently and achieve success ultimately.

The report was submitted before the Government of Kerala. Paul Antony, chairman, expert committee, submitted the report to P Rajeev, Minister for Law, Industries and Coir, at a special event in Thiruvananthapuram. K Harikumar, Managing Director, Travancore Cochin Chemicals Ltd., and Prasad K Panicker, former Executive Director, BPCL Cochin Refineries are the other members of the expert committee.

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