Maharashtra government to disinvest assets in 7 loss-making Public Sector Enterprises

The staff in such PSEs have either been offered Voluntary Retirement Scheme or absorbed by their parent departments.

The Maharashtra government has decided to disinvest its assets in seven loss-making Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) in the state.

At present, there are 55 such PSEs under administrative control of 20 departments of the state government.

The seven ailing PSEs in the line of disinvestment are – MAFCO, MELTRON, Maharashtra Land Development Corporation, Maharashtra Textile Development Corporation, and Vidarbha, Marathwada and Konkan Development Corporations.

Principal secretary Finance (Reforms) Bijay Kumar said that in case of MAFCO, the land owned by it has been given back to the original owners.

The land belonging to MAFCO has been handed over to BMC, CIDCO and other government departments, he told PTI.

The idea of closing down some of the loss-making state PSEs has been on the agenda of governments since 1990.

In 2000, the then government by an Act had set up the Maharashtra Board for Restructuring State Public Enterprises (MBRSE) to decide on disinvesting or restructuring these ailing PSUs in the state.

However in 2007, the Act was scrapped. The MBRSE had then recommended disinvestment and revitalisation of the 11 state PSEs.

A High Powered Committee that is now entrusted with the task of deciding the fate of the loss-making PSUs has asked various departments to make presentations on their status, Kumar said.

An official from the Finance department said that the government at present is undertaking selling off the assets of these state PSEs and returning the land to the concerned government departments.

The staff in such PSEs have either been offered Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS)or absorbed by their parent departments, he said.

Out of the 55 loss-making state PSEs, 14 belong to the Industries, Energy and Labour department, six belong to Social Justice department, six belong to Water Resources department and five to Cooperation and Marketing department.

The rest of them belong to Agriculture, Dairy Development, Tourism and other departments. Notably, some of the state PSEs have out-lived their utility.

The Maharashtra Land Development Corporation was set up to develop agricultural land, and through the Maharashtra State Farming Corporation, the government engaged itself in farming and producing crops and vegetables.

The government also sold milk through the milk distribution scheme. Interestingly, BJP Maharashtra Unit President Raosaheb Danve and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced appointment of party leaders and workers in PSEs.

The sharing of PSEs between BJP and Shiv Sena is yet to be finalised as both parties have not reached a final conclusion over the sharing formula.

After the seven ailing PSEs are scrapped, the BJP and the Sena will have to distribute 48 PSUs between them and their allies that include Republican Party of India, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Rashtriya Samaj Party and Shiv Sangram.