Mumbai: The government will soon grant the Maharatna status to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL). The upgrade to HPCL is a certainty as the oil marketing company is meeting all the criteria required for a Maharatna major, sources in the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) said. Following this move, the Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) arm is also set to become the first subsidiary company of an existing Maharatna to enter the coveted league amid state-run entities.
According to the guidelines set by the DPE, a company qualifying for the Maharatna status must have an average annual turnover of over Rs 25,000 crores in the last three years. The status enables state-owned entities to make equity investment to set up financial joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries, take on mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the country or overseas, depending on a ceiling of 15 percent of the PSU’s net worth, and limited to Rs 5,000 crore in each project.
The list of eight Maharatnas
The eight state-owned entities that have been conferred the Maharatna status are ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corp, Gas Authority of India Ltd, Bharat Heavy Electricals, National Thermal Power Corporation, Steel Authority of India and Coal India. Moreover, the petroleum ministry has already given the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises a recommendation in this regard.
A decision on this status is initially made by an inter-ministerial committee (IMC), which has the secretaries of DPE, the department of expenditure, of the ministry concerned and a representative from Niti Aayog. Following which, a final call will be taken by the Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. The final decision will be made by a panel headed by the Cabinet Secretary.