President Patil for assessment of CSR by PSUs

New Delhi: Emphasising the importance of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, President Pratibha Patil on Monday said PSUs` work in the these areas should be subject to assessment.

Complimenting the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) for bringing out comprehensive guidelines in these areas, she said, "I feel that the next logical step should be the assessment of the extent of their compliance to the guidelines, so that necessary remedial measures can be taken".

She was speaking after giving away awards to top- performing PSUs at a function organised by the Standing Conference of Public Sector Enterprises (SCOPE) here.

The President said implementation of the guidelines are equally important.

Reiterating that corporate sector should partner with the agriculture sector, she said "developing rural-industry linkages is, I believe, a part of corporate social responsibility".

It has been made mandatory for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) to allocate certain percentage of their net profit for CSR activities.

While, there is no such obligation on the private players, the issue is being considered under the new Companies Bill that is awaiting Parliamentary nod.

The President also called on the PSUs to invest in new technologies and development of products.

"I would like to draw attention to what needs to be done in the future. There should be a focus on investing in the next generation of technology, and in creating more capacities, as well as product development and process improvement," Patil said.

The public sector is now working in an environment where a large number of economic activities have been thrown open to the private sector, she said.

"Therefore, the test is to be nationally creative, globally competitive and efficient, ensure on-time deliverability and provide employment," the President said.

The 249 central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) had a paid up capital of Rs 1.48 lakh crore as on March 2010.

Their turnover was Rs 12.34 lakh crore with contributions of Rs 1.39 lakh crore to the central exchequer by way of excise duty, customs and others in 2009-10.

Patil also said the empowerment of profit making CPSEs and restructuring of sick and loss making ones are important issues and needed to be addressed on a priority basis.

"We need to have a more open mind to deal with the complexities of the issues involved, while addressing the problems of sick and loss making Units," she said.