ICT and in­no­va­tion can give a new lease of life to PSUS

Governance Now - - FORUM 2018 -

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.

San­jay Jaju,

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.

KS Po­pli,

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.

AK Jain,

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.

H Pu­rushot­tam,

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.

RK Bahuguna,

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.

UD Choubey,

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

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