Friday, June 24, 2022

Amidst COVID crisis, CPSEs are doing so much more than what appears on the surface

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  • 100 CPSEs have pledged Rs 2,540 crore of CSR funds towards PM CARES

  • The CPSEs have also pledged material and manpower support to the government in terms of medical facilities available with them

New Delhi: Since their inception, CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) have been playing a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the country through their contributions to various aspects like economic growth, infrastructure development, balanced regional development, price stabilisation, etc. Presently, there are about 249 CPSEs, functioning in diverse and critical sectors such as petroleum, crude oil, coal, power, steel, mining, telecommunications and transport, and logistics services. A number of the 249 CPSEs are amongst the leading companies operating across the length and breadth of the country. With a workforce strength of 15.14 lakh (including contractual and casual workers), the CPSEs are not only a significant source of employment, but they also make a substantial contribution to the central exchequer every year. The figure stood at Rs 3.68 lakh crore in 2018-19 and included dividend, interest, corporate taxes, and GST. The overall net profit of 249 operating CPSEs in 2018-19 was Rs 1.43 lakh crore. And even now, as India fights to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPSEs have set glorious examples by supplementing the efforts of the government in this regard.

CPSEs involved in supply of essential services across core sectors

While the country stands locked down for a period of three weeks to contain the spread of COVID 19, the CPSEs are ensuring that people are not inconvenienced in their homes for the lack of essential commodities. Power sector CPSEs such as NTPC, PGCIL, POSOCO, THDC etc. are ensuring uninterrupted power supply to homes, industries, hospitals, and medical facilities, while Oil & Gas CPSEs such as IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, GAIL are ensuring a continuous supply of LPG and fuel. Telecom CPSEs such as BSNL, MTNL, BBNL, etc have ensured uninterrupted connectivity and internet services across the country, including the nooks and corners of rural India. Air India and Alliance Air, along with Pawan Hans, have been undertaking transport of medical cargo and essential supplies from the North-East and J&K to the southern tip of India.

100 CPSEs have pledged Rs 2,540 cr towards PM CARES fund till date

Responding promptly to the need for contribution to the dedicated national fund for fighting Coronavirus — PM CARES (set up with the primary objective of dealing with emergency or distress situation, like posed by COVID 19) — about 100 CPSEs have pledged Rs 2,540 crore of CSR funds towards PM CARES and of which, Rs 2,227 crore has already been deposited till date. Additionally, the CPSEs employees have contributed approximately Rs 250 crore from their salaries towards the fund. The CPSEs have also pledged material and manpower support to the government in terms of medical facilities available with them. Various CPSEs such as NHPC, CIL, and its subsidiaries, SAIL, NTPC, ONGC, etc have 201 medical facilities, including a few hospitals with 11,400 beds spread across 24 states, from major cities to the remotest corners of the country. These facilities employ about 2,300 doctors, 2,500 nurses, and 5,500 paramedical staff. Some of them are coordinating with state authorities for providing quarantine facilities and required medical assistance. Apart from this, various CPSEs have also taken welfare measures such as distribution of food packets to the poor and the stranded, safety and sanitization kits to health workers, doctors, nurses, journalists, sanitization of townships and localities, and sensitization of masses towards containment of COVID-19 and also the Aarogya Setu app launched by the government. Sailesh Kumar (IAS) currently holds the position of Secretary at the DPE (Department of Public Enterprises), Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. Prior to taking over as Secretary at DPE, he was serving as Secretary in the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

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