The state-owned Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) was on Tuesday accorded the prestigious ‘Maharatna’ status, giving it greater operational and financial autonomy.
An order to this effect was issued by the Department of Public Enterprises, under the Finance Ministry.
Incorporated in 1986, the PFC is the largest infrastructure finance company, exclusively dedicated to power sector, and comes under the administrative control of the Power Ministry.
The grant of ‘Maharatna’ status to the PFC will impart enhanced powers to its Board while taking financial decisions. The Board of a ‘Maharatna’ CPSE can make equity investments to undertake financial joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries and undertake mergers and acquisitions in India and abroad, subject to a ceiling of 15 per cent of the net worth of the CPSE concerned, limited to Rs 5,000 crore in one project.
The Board can also structure and implement schemes relating to personnel and human resource management and training. They can also enter into technology JVs or other strategic alliances, among others.
“This new recognition will enable the PFC to offer competitive financing for the power sector, which will go a long way in making available affordable and reliable ‘Power For All 24×7’. The enhanced powers that come with Maharatna Status will also help the PFC in pushing the government’s agenda of funding under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, national commitment of 40 per cent green energy by 2030 and effective monitoring and implementation of the new revamped distribution sector Scheme with an outlay of more than Rs 3 lakh crore,” Power Minister R.K. Singh said.
Despite Covid, the PFC witnessed the highest ever annual sanctions and disbursements to the power sector to the tune of Rs 1.66 lakh crore and Rs 88,300 crore during FY 2020-21 and the highest ever profit of Rs 8,444 crore in FY 20210-21. It played a significant role amid Covid by funding discoms under the liquidity infusion scheme (‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Scheme’) to avert liquidity crisis in the sector.
“With the enhanced powers of Maharatna, the PFC will diversify its operations to further accelerate its business growth going forward and leverage its position for achieving the government’s objectives for the overall development of power sector,” PFC Chairman and Managing Director R.S. Dhillon said.