ICT and innovation can give a new lease of life to PSUS
Underscoring the importance and contribution of public sector undertakings (Psus) in the country’s economy, SN Tripathi, secretary, ministry of parliamentary affairs, India, said that there is no bureaucratic interference in the functioning of PSUS. “PSUS have their own boards for functioning and no one interferes in their working”, he said at the third india PSU it Forum 2018, organised by Governance now and scope on May 16. He also said that when people invest in Psus they not only invest money but also their faith.
Highlighting the significance of digital transformation, Tripathi said that one can’t remain digitally blind in the current world and advocated for the judicious use of technology. The power of digital is huge in the current era, he said.
“Today, whether it is the government or the citizens, everybody wants good and quick services. Digital transformation is not only a solution but also a problem in some cases,” Tripathi said.
He also informed the audience about the government’s initiative on having a digital parliament where MPS can ask questions.
The world can be divided into three parts; the first type of countries will have intellectual properties rights, the second type of nations will assemble products and the rest of the world will be the consumer, he said.
joint secretary, department of defence production, ministry of defence, said that information and communication technology provides the most cost-effective ways for ushering in transformation. “I have been championing the use of ict for the past 18 years in the civil services and it holds promise and potential,” he said.
Any company, be it PSU or a private sector firm, should leverage ICT not just to improve their business processes but also to perform better in a competitive world, he said.
He talked about how the ministry of road transport and highways has unveiled infracon national portal for infrastructure consultants which carries a huge amount of data. The portal is now fully functional and has over 15,000 infrastructure professionals and 1,000 infrastructure consultancy firms in its database, he said. “The entire bidding process in the ministry is done through the portal. We have finalised more than 2,600 tenders which would have cost us around rs 26,000 crore”, he remarked.
He underlined the importance of monitoring various projects through the ict. He stressed upon enhancing capacity building of individuals. He also said that he is trying to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of PSUS via ICT.
Dinesh Kumar Likhi,
chairman and managing director, Mishra Dhatu nigam ltd, said that the technology has brought only incremental changes contrary to the belief of bringing in radical changes. “The ICT is just an enabler”, he said.
He asked the audience whether digital transformation is a strategy in itself or whether the strategy requires digital transformation. “There is a huge gap between the rate of change of digital transformation in indian Psus and the rate of change of digital transformation across the world, and we should realise this”, he said.
stress upon the better synergy among the Psus for sustainable growth, Likhi said, “Adoption of technology without getting deep into it is also dangerous. The technology should be understood properly”.
“There is a need to see what vision we have and what type of change we want,” he added.
chairman and managing director, indian renewable energy Development Agency ltd, said that when india became independent there were only five PSUS having an investment of around rs 30 crore, whereas today there are over 247 operating Psus,out of which around 174 are profit-making entities with a profit of rs 5 lakh crore.
The Psus contribution to the country’s GDP is around 22 percent. This progress has been made over the years despite several challenges and restrictions. The government has really empowered the enterprises, Popli said. Around 50 Psus have also been listed in the stock exchanges with a market cap of approximately rs 19 lakh crore for better scrutiny. ireda has seen huge changes in the last seven years in the renewable energy domain.
ireda started with Jawaharlal nehru national solar Mission with the target of 20 Giga Watt (GW), which appeared to be a daunting task because the cost was very high. When the new government was formed in 2014, the target was enhanced by five times to 1 lakh GW, but today it looks achievable, he said.
managing director, rajasthan electronics & instruments ltd, said the role of Psus has been very important in driving the country’s economy in different sectors like the railways, telecom, and oil and energy. The Psus participation in the creation of a new india will be based on 7Ps – performance, process, persona, procurement, preparation, patent and participation.
Psus which were not able to keep pace with the changing times had a tough time. The enterprises also contribute immensely in the corporate social responsibility, Jain said. reil has been consistently paying dividends to the government and working on to uplift the rural masses.
Farmers in the rural parts are using solar power and they are gradually becoming energy producers. They are contributing to the economy in the power sector. reil is lucky to have pioneered in this sector, he said.
chairman and managing director, national research Development corporation, said that nrdc’s major mandate is to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, startups and taking the technology to the marketplace. over the years, nrdc has licensed 5,000 technologies and filed 1,700 patents. nrdc has also signed over 200 Mous with public institutions like Drdo, cisr, iits and Psus. He further said that NRDC has filed 162 patents, licensed 145 technologies in the past three years and a majority of them were transferred to
startups and Msmes. nrdc is a gatekeeper and provides technologies to all the enterprises and public institutions. “Unless the Psus embrace innovation, they cannot survive,” Purushottam said.
former chairman & managing director, railtel corporation, talked about the challenges involved in adopting technology. The ict platform provides information, access and opportunity. The responsibilities of the Psus are very high and the government expects a lot from them to contribute their bid in the economy, he said.
“In an era where the size and dominance of the Psus are growing, we need to look at the usage of ict. Psus often attract criticism. They are praised by the government and are supposed to compete with the private sector despite facing umpteen challenges,” Bahuguna said.
A lot of difficulties were faced when the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority was trying to make the itself a complete paper-less entity. However, the task was successfully achieved after sometime by utilising ICT. “The basic challenge is that we need to know what exactly we want,” he said.
director general, scope, said that there are 330 public enterprises having around 11.3 lakh employees. The government has invested around rs 12.5 lakh crore into the Psus, but hardly 1.9 percent of the budgetary support is being extended to the Psus, he said.
The public sector in india contributes maximum to the country’s economy. Psus are performing very well. Around 50 Psus are listed on the stock exchanges but they have around 15 percent of the total market capitalisation, which shows the faith of investors in the government enterprises, choubey said.
“There is a general feeling among the Psus that they are overregulated either directly by the government or by a state-run institution. There should be only one or two government organisations to check the accountability of the Psus, instead of multiple agencies like CAG, cvc, cbi and competition commission,” he said. There is a need of an ownership policy in the PSU sector, he added.
L-R: SN Tripathi, secretary, ministry of parliamentary affairs, government of India; RK Bahuguna, former chairman and managing director, Railtel Corporation of India Ltd; Sanjay Jaju, joint secretary (DIP), department of defence production, ministry of defence; UD Choubey, director general, SCOPE; H Purushottam, chairman and managing director, NRDC; and Dinesh Kumar Likhi, chairman and managing director, MIDHANI