Learning from the observations of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), the Maharashtra government’s Ministry of Finance has ‘reminded’ Public Sector Enterprises (PSUs) and state corporations to ‘operate within rules’ . Interestingly, the CAG had made some observations regarding the operations of UAPs in its report on the operation of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) and its proposed Multimodal International Airport and Hub at Nagpur (MIHAN). The CAG report recorded some observations based on the review of the functioning of the MADC and its MIHAN project for the period 2008 and 2012.
However, according to sources, despite the fact that the Ministry of Finance has asked PSUs and companies to take great care to follow the rules and guidelines issued from time to time, some issues have been brought to the attention of the ministry. Although the sources did not disclose the specific issues, they said the Ministry of Finance had reminded the PSUs and the companies to “operate within the rules” and provisions under the Memorandum and Articles of Association, the Companies Act 1956 and 2013, Ministry of Public Works. Rule Book, Office Procedure Manual for Government Department Purchasing Stores (1978) issued by the Department of Industries, Energy and Labor. In addition, PSUs and corporations have been instructed to adhere to guidelines issued by the Department of Environment, Department of Revenue, as well as government circulars and resolutions issued by the Department of Finance on various occasions since 1992. The latest “reminder” posted a few days ago by Manoj Saunik, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), also mentions that the Managing Director/CEO of PSU, Company, Board or respective company will be responsible for ensuring that the rules are correctly followed. The Maharashtra government has several PAUs, corporations, councils and enterprises.
PSUs in particular receive share capital, grants, loans, guarantees, etc. as part of the state government investment. However, different PSUs and Societies, Boards and Societies were formed under different rules. There are differences in their goals, business scope, organizational structure, financial models, profit potential, etc. Despite this, the Ministry of Finance has stressed the need to have some sort of uniformity and the same broader framework of rules for them. Therefore, he issued the latest “reminder” to these bodies.