Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked the state-owned companies to help the government expand its global geo-strategic reach by expanding overseas. Without taking name of any country, he said some other countries have tactfully used their domestic PSUs to expand their geo-strategic reach. Addressing a conclave of the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), Modi asked them to put in a place a “comprehensive strategy” for overseas expansion which keeps in mind the twin objectives of generating higher return on capital and country’s geo-strategic interests. Incidentally, China and some other countries have used their state-owned companies to acquire key infrastructure assets and companies across the world.
“New world order mein Bharat ki geo-strategic reach badhane mein aapka yogdaan awashyak hai. Aaj opportunity hai, aap bhi duniya mein jaate hain, duniya ke logon se milte hain. Aisa awsar pehle bahut kam aaye honge, iss awsar ko hum jaane na dein…isse bhi aap bhali bhaanti parichit hain ki kaise kuch deshon ne apne PSUs ka istemal dosre deshon mein apna prabhav badhane ke liye kiya hai. (In the new world order, PSUs has an important role in expanding India’s geo-strategic reach. There is an opportunity today. You have been visiting globally, meeting people overseas but such an opportunity has rarely come before. We should not let go of this opportunity. You are well aware how some countries have used their PSUs to expand their dominance in other countries),” Modi said.
Stressing on better performance by the CPSEs, he said the average return on equity of CPSEs is around 11 per cent, which is lower when compared with the same for the private sector. CPSEs can play an important role in sectors such as rural housing, renewable energy, solar, pharmaceuticals and tourism, he said. Modi asked the companies to prepare a detailed roadmap for action in the next 100 days with measurable targets on how it will be implemented in due course.
Modi highlighted new areas of digitisation, e-mobility, analytics and block chain technology which the CPSEs can utilise to expand their businesses. The Prime Minister also posed a few challenges to CPSEs – of helping the country reduce its import bill by 2022, integration of research and innovation platforms among the government companies, better utilisation of the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) resources in line with the country’s priorities, and formulating new development models by 2022.
With CPSEs spending about Rs 2,500 crore on CSR activities annually, Modi asked them to use these resources to support government initiatives like the 115 aspirational districts and the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. He also suggested the CPSEs to step up their procurement from the MSMEs.