The Union Government of India gave the Maharatna status to two PSUs- BHEL and GAIL on 1 February 2013. Granting Maharatna status to BHEL and GAIL will provide them with better functional and financial freedom and will also guarantee them with better valuation of the shares.
Ideally any Maharatna firm has a capacity to take investment decision of around 5000 crore Rupees without taking assistance from the government. On the other hand, forms with Navratna status have the capability of 1000 crore Rupees.
However, both BHEL and GAIL do not have enough non-official directors on the board, which is why they cannot exercise their Maharatna powers. Even though all other conditions of Maharatna status were met by both these PSUs but their boards do not have requisite number of board members. While GAIL is short of 4 independent directors, BHEL, on the other hand is short of 6 non-official directors.
In terms of turnover, networth as well as net profit, both these companies meet all the eligibility criterions.
Eligibility of a company to get a Maharatna status
•For any company to qualify for Maharatna status, the annual turnover should be over 25000 crore Rupees in past three years, as per the guidelines issued by Department of Public Enterprises.
•The net worth of the PSU should be more than 15000 crore Rupees in past three years.
•The net profit should be over 5000 crore Rupees during past three years.
At present, there are seven Maharatna companies, after inclusion of BHEL and GAIL and these companies are - ONGC, Indian Oil, SAIL, NTPC and CIL. Also, there are 14 Navratna companies, including Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited and NMDC.