India's Top PSUs 2021

14 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) have been playing a key role in India’s economic development since the time India gained independence. They were established with the objective of making India self-sufficient and providing uninterrupted and affordable access to products/inputs for the masses and domestic industries. Further, by being engines of the Indian Government’s mission to achieve social upliftment, inclusive growth and self-sufficiency, they also play an important role in the overall socio-economic development of the nation. PSUs possess the unique ability to look beyond short-term commercial interests to invest in local assets and resources in order to help the country maximise its long-term economic gains. The Journey of PSUs in the past 75 Years When India gained independence in 1947, she found herself in extremely weak economic conditions. There was a dearth of private capital and investment credibility, and industries were in a dilapidated state. Industries were in urgent need of a policy thrust. Moreover, the country faced several daunting issues such as widespread poverty, income inequalities, unemployment and regional imbalances in economic development. Given the weak industrial base and inadequate investment and infrastructure facilities at that time, a roadmap for the development of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) was chosen as an instrument for the comprehensive economic development. Eventually, the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 laid the foundations for the development of PSUs and their leading role in the socio-economic development of the country. As we look back at the seven-decade journey of India as an independent nation, parallels can be drawn between the development of the country and the evolution of its PSUs. The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 envisaged a mixed economy model for India. It classified industries into four broad areas, namely: a) Strategic Industries (public sector), in which the Central Government had complete monopoly, such as arms & ammunition, atomic energy and rail transport. b) Basic/Key Industries (public-cum-private sector), which comprised six basic industries to be set by the Central Government although the existing private sector companies were allowed to continue; this included the Coal, Iron & Steel, Aircraft Manufacturing, Ship-building, Manufacture of Telephone, Telegraph & Wireless Apparatus, and Mineral Oil sectors. c) Important Industries (controlled private sector), which would continue to remain under the private sector, but would be controlled by the Central Government in consultation with State Governments; 18 important industries such as heavy chemicals, sugar, cotton textile & woollen industry, cement, paper, salt, machine tools, fertiliser, rubber, air and sea transport, motor, tractor, electricity etc. d) Other Industries (private and co-operative sector). The 1948 resolution envisaged to develop the basic and strategic sectors exclusively through public sector enterprises or PSUs. The subsequent industrial policies till 1990 continued to give precedence to the role of the public sector in industrial development. As a result, the number of PSUs increased substantially till 1991. However, with the industrial policy in OVERVIEW OF PSUs IN INDIA PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS: PILLARS OF A MODERN AND RESILIENT INDIAN ECONOMY Dun & Bradstreet