The Prime Minister met the CMDs of twenty five major Maharatna and Navaratna CPSEs. These enterprises account for a large proportion of the India's market capitalization, organized sector employment and are a major contributor to India’s economic growth.
After hearing the views of the CMDs, the Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, The Finance Minister and the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, the Prime Minister spoke about the importance of the Central Public Sector Enterprises to the processes of nation building. The Prime Minister noted that the Public Sector Enterprises were instruments for bringing India back into reckoning as one of the great economies of the world. The Prime Minister said:" We cannot be satisfied with the status quo. Our growth should be maintained at the level of 8 to 8.5 percent regardless of what happens in the world economy. We must learn to swim and swim fast enough whatever be the circumstances."
The PM spoke of the contributions of the CPSEs to our economy today. They contribute over 6% of our GDP and their profits are at a record levels of almost Rs 1,00,000 crore. They have helped in transforming hitherto backward regions into modern hubs of industry and prosperity. The Prime Minister told the gathering: "Even if the international demand is not there, domestic demand should drive the investment and our endeavours".
The need of the times, the PM emphasized, is to be ready for the challenges of the future. Today, CPSEs face competition from not just domestic private enterprise but also from global corporations. As one of the biggest emerging global economies, India is an important destination for all Multi-National Corporations and competition will intensify in future. The PM therefore strongly urged them to focus on increasing the efficiency of operations, aim for achieving world-class competencies. He spoke of the need to commit to innovations in technology, human resources and create a culture of optimism.
Drawing attention to the large cash surpluses of CPSEs, the PM asked the CPSEs to use that surplus for their own benefit and the benefit of the economy. They should use it for driving investment, growth and jobs. Investing such cash surplus would help in re-igniting the growth impulses that are present in the economy. The Prime Minister noted that the investment rate in the country had declined due to recent slowdown, which should be increased to 36% to 37% to achieve 8 percent growth.
The Prime Minister said that he had noted the need for improving coordination in expediting project clearances and for generating an appropriate long term vision. He asked the Minister of Heavy Industry & Public Enterprises and the Department of Public Enterprises to work with the Finance Ministry, Planning Commission and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council towards addressing these issues. “We are a government determined to overcome difficulties in the spirit of national enterprise", the Prime Minister concluded.