Perform or perish: Steel Minister to PSUs' top brass
In a stern warning, Steel Minister Birendra Singh has asked PSUs, including SAIL, to "perform or perish" saying complacency cannot be tolerated at a time when private players are excelling on various parameters. Chairing a meeting of chiefs of top steel PSUs, the minister pulled up public sector firms like SAIL and RINL for not only lagging behind on international benchmarks, but were behind their private counterparts and complacent in ramping up capacities.
"In production and productivity parameters, PSUs are far behind their counterparts in private sector. In terms of international benchmarks, performance of Indian steel companies is very poor," Singh told PSU top brasses as per the ministry sources. Providing specific example, the minister said domestic steel giant SAIL could barely achieve blast furnace productivity at 1.7 tonnes per cubic meter per day (tpcm/d) in contrast to over 2.5 tpcm/d by private counterparts and global standards of over 3 tpcm/d.
Also indicting SAIL for slow progress in modernisation as well as ramping up of capacity, the minister said deadlines were missed one after another which cannot be tolerated anymore, according to the ministry sources. Singh, who assumed charge of the Ministry some seven months back also warned, "Non-performance cannot be accepted". It is a question of survival "and stressed steel PSUs need to be proactive, not reactive" as it is "a do or die situation" and they "work in perform or perish mode to retain competitive edge".
Irked at delays in all major projects, the minister announced that the Secretary Steel will finalise a mechanism to strictly assess individual performances as per outputs by the top brass.