New Delhi: State-run companies need to be more accountable to the people of the country and the government has taken the decision to dilute equity stake for making them more professional, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to sell its entire stake in three enterprises and bring down stake below 51 per cent in select PSUs.
The opposition Congress on Thursday staged protests in Parliament against privatisation of oil PSU BPCL and Shipping Corp.
"We need to be accountable...that is why we took these decisions. The Prime Minister took these decisions in Cabinet meeting yesterday. We are going for equity dilution that means going for more professionalism. and I believe you (PSUs) must...promote it," the steel minister said in his address at the ISA Steel Conclave event here.
Pradhan also urged steel PSUs SAIL and RINL to be more competitive.
If private industry can produce steel facing competition from their competitors and and that in same market conditions, then SAIL and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) will also have to do the same, he said.
The minister said said it is not him or the SAIL management that owns the entity but the general public, hence the accountability of the government is more towards the people.
"Since these are government companies our accountability is more towards people," Pradhan said.
The country's largest steel maker SAIL posted a loss of Rs 342.84 crore for the July-September quarter.
The minister also asked the steel industry to work towards the mission of Green Steel, according to a release.
"Industry must deploy technology, innovation to develop environment friendly processes, the minister said.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has launched Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project in the Eastern India, which can provide gas to all the Steel plants, located in the area.
Being an environment-friendly and affordable fuel, the Steel industry should move towards it, replacing coal, he said.