CIL may get Maharatna status by yr end, Bhel in waiting list

At present, there are four Maharatnas--ONGC, Indian Oil, Steel Authority of India and NTPC. "...CIL will become our fifth Maharatna once its public issue goes through. We were hoping end of October and it's pretty much in line with that," Secretary in the Department of Public Enterprises Bhaskar Chatterjee said here.

When asked if the company would become a Maharatna by the year end, he said, "Yes."  He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of All India Management Association function. CIL, the world's largest coal-miner, would be entitled for greater financial freedom once it gets Maharatna status.

On power major Bhel's qualification for the coveted title Chatterjee said, "Bhel will take at least a year or two (to qualify for the status). It is doing well otherwise but they need to meet minimum norms that will take a little while." A company needs to have a three-year track record of annual net profit of over Rs 5,000 crore, net worth of more than Rs 15,000 crore and turnover of more than Rs 25,000 crore, besides being listed on bourses to be eligible for the Maharatna status.

CIL, with about four lakh employees, had turnover Rs 52,000 crore in fiscal 2009-10. It has had over Rs 5,000 crore profit in past three years. However, Bhel does not fulfill the net profit requirement criteria to qualify for Maharatna. Bhel turnover was Rs 33,173.34 crore in 2009-10. However, the company's annual average net profit was Rs 3,433 crore during the last three years.

Maharatna scheme was announced by the government last December to give more operational freedom to the top-performing PSUs

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