PSUs' access to resources won't be at the cost of nature: Secy

The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) would set up a group of professionals in the next one or two months, to formulate guidelines, which will have to be followed by all public sector undertakings (PSUs), he said. "We are hopeful that by September, these norms will be out. It will be mandatory for all PSUs," Chatterjee told reporters.

He said companies like NMDC mine a huge area, and then leave the land unused. "If they are properly covered, green zones can be created," the DPE Secretary said. Further, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will also be signed between the company and the government to appraise the work done by the PSUs. He said, the government would also frame guidelines for PSUs to raise investment in research and development.

"We had existed in a monopoly situation with captive markets. Therefore, research and development investment and productivity have been low," Chatterjee said, adding the companies are now functioning in competitive environment, and hence require a strong research and development back-up. The government has already framed rules for state-owned companies' Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Under the rules each company will have to set aside up to five per cent of the net profit towards contribution to social and environmental causes.

However, PSUs have the option to outsource CSR-related projects to NGOs or agencies specialising in the social sector. A national hub of such agencies would be created to help the PSUs perform these functions, Chatterjee said.

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