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What Are Public Sector Undertaking (PSU)


A Government-owned corporation is termed as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). This term is used to refer to companies in which the government (either the federal Union Government or the many state or territorial governments, or both) own a majority (51 percent or more) of the company equity.

 There are in all 251 PSU companies in India as on 2012. PSU’s are created by the Government of India to undertake commercial activities on behalf of Government of India. Several Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the aegis of Government of India regularly provide tremendous employment opportunities in various technical and management areas.

Some of the PSUs are:

Public Sector Enterprises (companies) are divided into 3 categories:

  • Maharatna
  • Navratna
  • Miniratna CPSEs
    • Category I
    • Category II


The Government of India established the Maharatna Companies in 2009. This Status raises a company’s investment ceiling from Rs. 1,000 crore to Rs. 5,000 crore. The Maharatna firms can now decide on investments of up to 15 per cent of their net worth in a project. On the other hand, the Navratna companies could invest up to Rs 1,000 crore without explicit government approval. The six criteria for eligibility as Maharatna are:

  1. Having Navratna status.
  2. Listed on Indian stock exchange with minimum prescribed public shareholding under SEBI regulations.
  3. An average annual turnover of more than Rs. 20,000. crore during the last 3 years. Earlier it was Rs 25,000 Crore.
  4. An average annual net worth of more than Rs. 10,000 crore during the last 3 years. Earlier it was Rs. 15,000 crore.
  5. An average annual net profit after tax of more than Rs. 2500 crore during the last 3 years. Earlier it was Rs. 5000 crore.
  6. Should have significant global presence/international operations.

List of Maharatna:

  1. Coal India Limited(CCL)
  2. Indian Oil Corporation Limited
  3. NTPC Limited
  4. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited
  5. Steel Authority of India Limited


Navratna was the title given originally to nine Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) identified by the Government of India in 1997 as “public sector companies that have comparative advantages”, giving them greater autonomy to compete in the global market so as to “support [them] in their drive to become global giants”. The number of PSEs having Navratna status has been raised to 16, the most recent addition being Oil India Limited.

To be qualified as a Navratna, the company must obtain a score of 60 out of 100. The score is based on six parameters which include net profit to net worth, total manpower cost to total cost of production or cost of services, PBDIT (Profit before depreciation, interest and taxes) to capital employed, PBDIT to turnover, EPS (Earning per Share) and Inter-Sectoral performance. Additionally, a company must first be a Mini-Ratna and have four independent directors on its board before it can be made a Navratna. The Navratna status gives privileges to enhance financial and operational autonomy and empowers to invest up to Rs. 1000 crores or 15% of their net worth on a single project without seeking government approval. In a year, these companies can spend up to 30% of their net worth not exceeding Rs. 1000 crores. They will also have the freedom to enter joint ventures, form alliances and float subsidiaries abroad.

List of Navratna Companies:

  1. Bharat Electronics Limited
  2. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited
  3. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited
  4. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
  5. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited
  6. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited
  7. National Aluminium Company Limited
  8. National Mineral Development Corporation Limited
  9. Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited
  10. Oil India Limited
  11. Power Finance Corporation Limited
  12. Power Grid Corporation of India Limited
  13. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited
  14. Rural Electrification Corporation Limited
  15. Shipping Corporation of India Limited
  16. Gas Authority of India Limited

Miniratna PSEs:

In addition, the government created another category called Miniratna. Miniratnas can also enter into joint ventures, set subsidiary companies and overseas offices but with certain conditions. In 2002, there were 61 government enterprises that were awarded Miniratna status. However, at present, there are 67 government enterprises that were awarded Miniratna status.

Category I:

This designation applies to PSEs that have made profits continuously for the last three years or earned a net profit of Rs. 30 crore or more in one of the three years. These miniratnas granted certain autonomy like incurring capital expenditure without government approval up to Rs. 500 crore or equal to their net worth, whichever is lower.

  1. Projects & Development India limited
  2. Airports Authority of India
  3. Antrix Corporation Limited
  4. Balmer Lawrie & Co. Limited
  5. Bharat Dynamics Limited
  6. BEML Limited
  7. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
  8. Bridge & Roof Company (India) Limited
  9. Central Warehousing Corporation
  10. Central Coalfields Limited
  11. Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited
  12. Cochin Shipyard Limited
  13. Container Corporation of India Limited
  14. Dredging Corporation of India Limited
  15. Engineers India Limited
  16. Ennore Port Limited
  17. Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited
  18. Goa Shipyard Limited
  19. Hindustan Copper Limited
  20. HLL Lifecare Limited
  21. Hindustan Newsprint Limited
  22. Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited
  23. Housing and Urban Development Corporation
  24. India Tourism Development Corporation
  25. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
  26. IRCON International Limited
  27. Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited.
  28. Mazagaon Dock Limited
  29. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited
  30. Manganese Ore (India) Limited
  31. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited
  32. Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited
  33. Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India
  34. MSTC Limited
  35. National Fertilizers Limited
  36. National Seeds Corporation Limited
  37. NHPC Limited
  38. Northern Coalfields Limited
  39. Numaligarh Refinery Limited
  40. ONGC Videsh Limited
  41. Pawan Hans Helicopters
  42. Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited
  43. RITES Limited
  44. Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam
  45. Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited
  46. South Eastern Coalfields Limited
  47. State Trading Corporation of India Limited
  48. Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited
  49. Telecommunications Consultants (India) Limited
  50. Western Coalfields Limited
  51. Water & Power Consultancy (India) Limited
  52. RailTel Corporation of India Ltd.

Category II:

  1. Bharat Pumps & Compressors Limited
  2. Broadcast Engineering Consultants (I) Limited
  3. Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited
  4. EdCIL (India) Limited
  5. Engineering Projects (India) Limited
  6. FCI Aravali Gypsum & Minerals India Limited
  7. Ferro Scrap Nigam Limited
  8. HMT (International) Limited
  9. HSCC (India) Limited
  10. India Trade Promotion Organisation
  11. Indian Medicines & Pharmaceuticals Corporation Limited
  12. M E C O N Limited
  13. National Film Development Corporation Limited
  14. National Small Industries Corporation Limited
  15. P E C Limited
  16. Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited
  17. Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited
  18. Tata Steel Limited

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