Public Sector Undertakings - PSUs in India, Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna


Public Sector Undertakings, or PSUs, are government-owned businesses in India. They may be owned by the Indian union government or one of the numerous state governments. In India, PSUs or public sector undertakings are very important factors that contribute to the country's economic development. These are the corporations in which the Government of India owns a considerable paid share capital or at least 51%.

Classification of the Public Sector Organizations

The public sector can be categorized as follows:

  • Departmental Undertaking: Directly controlled by the relevant ministry or division. (Railways, Post Office, etc.)
  • Non-Departmental Undertaking - PSU (e.g. HPCL, IOCL, etc.)
  • Monetary institution (e.g. SBI, UTI, LIC, etc.)

Industrialization and developing capital goods and basic industries were the driving forces behind the creation of PSUs. Organizations that do not fall within the public sector are referred to as the private sector, and they strive to increase their profits.

The Department of Public Enterprises has granted CPSEs the rank of Maharatna, Navratna, or Miniratna, depending on their financial performance and advancement.

1. Maharatna status

This is the greatest status a government-owned business may attain. The Board of a ‘Maharatna’ CPSE can make equity investments to undertake financial joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries and undertake mergers and acquisitions in India and abroad, subject to a ceiling of 15% of the Net Worth of the concerned CPSE, limited to ₹5,000 crores in one project.

Criteria for Maharatna PSU

According to the guidelines released by the Department of Public Enterprises, the CPSEs meeting the following criteria are eligible to be considered for a grant of Maharatna status.

  • Having Navratna status
  • Listed on Indian stock exchange with minimum prescribed public shareholding under SEBI regulations
  • An average annual turnover of more than Rs. 25,000 crore during the last 3 years
  • An average annual net worth of more than Rs. 15,000 crore during the last 3 years
  • An average annual net profit after tax of more than Rs. 5,000 crore during the last 3 years
  • Should have significant global presence/international operations.

List of Maharatna PSU companies in India

(Source: Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Finance as on March 2023)

  1. Bharat Heavy Electricals limited
  2. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited
  3. Coal India Limited
  4. GAIL (India) Limited
  5. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited
  6. Indian Oil Corporation Limited
  7. NTPC Limited
  8. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited
  9. Power Finance Corporation
  10. Power Grid Corporation of India Limited
  11. Steel Authority of India Limited
  12. REC Limited
  13. Oil India Limited

2. Navratna status

Companies holding the status of "Navratna" must be Miniratna Category-I firms with Schedule A status to qualify. Additionally, it must have a composite score of 60 or above in the following six selected performance indicators to be considered for a grant of Navratna status.

Performance indicators

Weightage (Maximum 100)

Net Profit to Net worth    

25

Manpower Cost to total Cost of Production or Cost of Services

15

Profit Before Depreciation Interest and Taxes (PBDIT) to Capital employed

15

Profit Before Interest and Tax (PBIT) to Turnover

15

Earning Per Share

10

Inter Sectoral Performance

20

List of Navratna Public Sector Companies

(Source: List by Department of Public Enterprises as on March 2023)

  1. Bharat Electronics Limited
  2. Container Corporation of India Limited
  3. Engineers India Limited
  4. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
  5. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited
  6. National Aluminium Company Limited
  7. National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited
  8. NMDC Limited
  9. Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited
  10. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited
  11. Shipping Corporation of India Limited
  12. ONGC Videsh

3. Miniratna status

This subcategory of CPSEs also includes the following two subtypes:

Miniratna Category-I

The companies must have made a profit in the previous three years, with at least one of those years seeing a pre-tax profit of 30 crores or more.

List of Miniratna Category – I companies

(Source: List by Department of Public Enterprises as on March 2023)

  1. Airports Authority of India
  2. Antrix Corporation Limited
  3. Balmer Lawrie & Co. Limited
  4. Bharat Coking Coal Limited
  5. Bharat Dynamics Limited
  6. BEML Limited
  7. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
  8. Braithwaite & Company Limited
  9. Bridge & Roof Company (India) Limited
  10. Central Warehousing Corporation
  11. Central Coalfields Limited
  12. Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited
  13. Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited
  14. Cochin Shipyard Limited
  15. Cotton Corporation of India Ltd.
  16. EdCIL (India) Limited
  17. Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited
  18. Goa Shipyard Limited
  19. Hindustan Copper Limited
  20. Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited
  21. HLL Lifecare Limited
  22. Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited
  23. Housing & Urban Development Corporation Limited
  24. HSCC (India) Limited
  25. India Tourism Development Corporation Limited
  26. Indian Rare Earths Limited
  27. Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited
  28. Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited
  29. Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited
  30. India Trade Promotion Organization
  31. IRCON International Limited
  32. KIOCL Limited
  33. Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited
  34. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited
  35. MOIL Limited
  36. Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemical Limited
  37. Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited
  38. Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited
  39. MMTC Limited
  40. MSTC Limited
  41. National Fertilizers Limited
  42. National Projects Construction Corporation Limited
  43. National Small Industries Corporation Limited
  44. National Seeds Corporation
  45. NHPC Limited
  46. Northern Coalfields Limited
  47. North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited
  48. Numaligarh Refinery Limited
  49. Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited
  50. Projects & Development India Limited
  51. Railtel Corporation of India Limited
  52. Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited
  53. RITES Limited
  54. SJVN Limited
  55. Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited
  56. South Eastern Coalfields Limited
  57. Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited
  58. Telecommunications Consultants India Limited
  59. THDC India Limited
  60. Western Coalfields Limited
  61. WAPCOS Limited

Miniratna Category-II

The businesses must have a positive net worth and have generated profits consistently during the last three years. These businesses are permitted to spend up to 50% of their net value without seeking permission from the government. Miniratna CPSEs shall not depend upon budgetary support or Government guarantees.

List of Miniratna Category – II

(Source: List by Department of Public Enterprises as on March 2023)

  1. Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India
  2. Bharat Pumps & Compressors Limited
  3. Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited
  4. Engineering Projects (India) Limited
  5. FCI Aravali Gypsum & Minerals India Limited
  6. Ferro Scrap Nigam Limited
  7. HMT (International) Limited
  8. Indian Medicines & Pharmaceuticals Corporation Limited
  9. MECON Limited
  10. National Film Development Corporation Limited
  11. Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited

Note: There are 74 Miniratna Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) at present in the country.

4. Goals of Establishing a Public Sector Unit (PSU)

  • To establish a national industrial base
  • To create more high-quality employment
  • To build up the nation's fundamental infrastructure
  • To provide the government with resources
  • To encourage exporters while lowering imports
  • To hasten a nation's economic development and prosperity while reducing inequality.

5. New Public Sector Enterprise (“PSE”) Policy

A new Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) Policy has been notified by the government in February 2021. The policy aims to minimize the presence of the Government in the PSEs across all sectors of the economy. Under the new PSE Policy, public sector commercial enterprises are being classified as Strategic and Non-Strategic sectors.

  • Strategic sectors: In Strategic sectors, the bare minimum presence of the existing public sector commercial enterprises at the Holding Company level is to be retained under Government control. The remaining enterprises in a strategic sector are to be privatized or merged with another PSE or closed. Four strategic sectors have been identified based on the criteria of national security, energy security, critical infrastructure, provision of financial services and availability of important minerals. These strategic sectors include
    • Atomic Energy, Space and Defense
    • Transport and Telecommunication
    • Power, Petroleum, Coal and other minerals
    • Banking, Insurance and Financial Services
  • Non-strategic sectors: PSEs in non-strategic sectors are to be considered for privatization, where feasible, otherwise such enterprises are to be considered for closure.

PSUs are essential to the prosperity and development of the country. The number of PSUs has been falling for many years for various reasons. For various reasons, some businesses cannot be transferred to the private sector. In such a situation, Government is right in bringing out new Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) Policy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about PSUs in India

Who grants CPSEs the rank of Maharatna, Navratna or Miniratna?

Department of Public Enterprises grants CPSEs the rank of Maharatna, Navratna or Miniratna based on their financial performance.

In September 2022, which CPSE has been accorded the status of a Maharatna?

REC Limited has been accorded the status of a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) recently in September 2022.

How many Maharatna PSU companies are there in India as of August 2023?

There are 13 Maharatna PSU companies in India as of August 2023.

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