Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Minister raises issue on auto job crisis

New Delhi, Aug 23 (PTI): Union Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Arvind Sawant on Thursday exhorted healthy public sector undertakings (PSUs) to hand-hold those state-run firms which are ‘on ventilator’ or facing hard times in order to salvage them.

Citing the example of the salt-to-steel conglomerate Tata Group which also sells gold jewellery under the brand name Tanishq, Sawant said state-run firms never thought of diversification and urged them to make efforts in this regard.

He also raised the issue of employment of automotive ancillary unit workers once the country migrates to electric vehicles, as manufacturing of internal combustion engine vehicles requires more manpower, and called for brainstorming on curbing job losses emanating from the transition. “When we talk to electric vehicles running on batteries, the import of petrol will reduce. Companies’ turnover will also get reduced. Think of something right now,” Sawant told the public sector enterprises. He was addressing a PSU awards event organised by Dun and Bradstreet here.

Observing that the perception towards PSUs today was not good, Sawant urged them to establish a forum and accord preference to other state-run firms for availing various services whenever required. Manish Sinha, Managing Director, Dun and Bradstreet India, said, “To achieve the target of making India a $5 trillion economy, the government would like the GOEs (government-owned enterprises) to play a bigger role by increasing their contribution to 10 per cent of GDP from the current level of five per cent.”