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Navratna, Maharatna, Miniratna: The hierarchies of Indian PSUs

Upon achieving the Navratna designation, companies gain autonomy in various domains which empowers them to operate efficiently. Find out more!

Imagine a group of companies so influential and robust that they are considered the ‘crown jewels’ of India’s economy. These are PSEs, or public sector enterprises, which are the foundation of India’s manufacturing sector. 

Some of these PSEs have achieved a highly esteemed status called the ‘Navratna’, which is derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘nine gems’. The Navratna status is more than just a title. It represents a recognition of excellence and highlights the significant role that these companies play in driving India’s economic growth. 

In this article, we explore the world of Navratna companies, delving into their significance, their influence, and the exclusive benefits they receive. 

Also read: Unravelling the power of public sector banks in India’s economic landscape

Understanding Navratna status

To be recognised as a Navratna business is an honour bestowed upon a public sector organisation in India. These organisations are pivotal to the country’s economic framework and enjoy a high standing among other Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), both within India and on the international stage.

Upon achieving the Navratna designation, these companies are endowed with autonomy in various domains, including capital expenditure, investments in joint ventures or subsidiaries, and management of human resources. This autonomy empowers them to operate efficiently and contribute significantly to the nation’s economy.

Eligibility criteria for Navratna company

For a company in India to be recognised as a Navratna, it must fulfil certain eligibility requirements as set forth by the Indian Government:

  1. Schedule A of the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) should already include the company, and it should be recognized as a Miniratna Category I.
  2. The Memorandum of Understanding System requires it to have maintained a rating of “outstanding” for at least three of the last five years in a row.
  3. Furthermore, the company must satisfy specific benchmarks across six crucial parameters, which include the ratio of net profit to net worth, EBDIT to capital employed, gross margin relative to capital expenditure, manpower cost concerning the cost of production or services, gross profit as a percentage of turnover, and earnings per share.
  4. A total score of 60 or above in those categories is required for the company to be considered for Navratna status.
ParameterMaximum weight
Earnings per share10
Profit before interest and taxes (PBIT) to turnover15
Net profit to net worth25
Profit before depreciation, interest and taxes (EBITDA) to capital employed15
Manpower cost to total cost of production or services15
Inter-sectoral performance20

Source: Press Information Bureau

List of Navratna status companies

Here is the complete Navratna Companies of India list for 2024.

Company Description
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL)Founded in 1954, this company operates under the Ministry of Defence, catering to the specific electronic requirements of the Indian Defence.
Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR)The Companies Act of 1988 authorized the formation of this business, and in November 1989, it commenced operations.
Engineers India Limited (EIL)This firm was formed in 1965 as a result of a partnership between the Indian government and the American firm Bechtel International Corporation.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)This company was founded in 1940 in Bangalore by Shri Walchand Hirachand in collaboration with the Government of Mysore, with the aim to manufacture aircraft in India.
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)The Government of India established this organization on April 1, 1986.
National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO)This company was founded on 7th January 1981 and has its registered office in Bhubaneswar.
National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC)Headquartered in Delhi, this Civil Engineering Enterprise of the Government of India was established in 1960.
Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited (NLC India)Established in 1956, the Ministry of Coal oversees the administrative operations of this corporation.
National Mineral Development Corporation Limited (NMDC)In 1958, the Government of India created this corporation as a public venture.
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL)This corporate entity of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant operates under the Ministry of Steel and was officially inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi, on 20th January 1971.
Shipping Corporation of India Limited (SCI)The Eastern Shipping Corporation and the Western Shipping Corporation merged to form this corporation on October 2, 1961.
Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)In 2003, the Ministry of Railways established this corporation as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). By March 2005, it had reached full operational capacity.
ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL)Since its inception in 1965, this firm has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of ONGC.
Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers Limited (RCF)Formerly known as Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd., RCF was created on March 6, 1978, as a result of the merging of five different enterprises.
IRCON International LimitedUnder the Companies Act of 1956, this government-owned corporation was incorporated in 1976.
RITES LimitedThis company operates under the Ministry of Railways and was incorporated in 1974.
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA)The Companies Act, of 1956 authorized the formation of this business on March 11, 1987, as a public limited government company.

Source: Press Information Bureau

Comparison with Maharatna and Miniratna Status

Maharatna status

The prestigious Maharatna status is granted to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) that meet the following Maharatna status criteria:

  • They must already hold the Navratna status.
  • They should be listed on an Indian stock exchange and comply with the minimum public shareholding requirements as per SEBI regulations.
  • They should have an average annual turnover exceeding ₹25,000 crore over the past three years.
  • Their average annual net worth over the last three years should be more than ₹15,000 crore.
  • Over the past three years, they need to have achieved a net profit after taxes of more than ₹5,000 crore on average.
  • They need to be well-established on a worldwide scale or run business in multiple countries.

Also read: SEBI’s quasi-powers: Keeping India’s securities market ethical

Miniratna status

The Miniratna status is conferred upon Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) that have consistently posted profits for three consecutive years and maintain a positive net worth. The Miniratna status is divided into two major groups:

  • Miniratna category-I: This group comprises CPSEs that have maintained a positive net worth and have shown a steady track record of profitability for the last three years, with a pre-tax profit of ₹30 crores or more in one of those years. These CPSEs are eligible for consideration for the Miniratna-I status.
  • Miniratna category-II: This group includes CPSEs with a positive net worth and three years of consecutive profit records. These CPSEs are eligible for consideration for the Miniratna-II status.

These categories allow the government to recognise and reward the performance of these enterprises appropriately.

Comparison – Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna status

In India, some PSEs are honoured with the Maharatna, Navratna, and Miniratna titles. These statuses serve as badges of honour, distinguishing these PSEs based on their performance, potential, and strategic significance. They come with a suite of benefits and privileges bestowed by the Indian government.

Among these, the Maharatna status offers the greatest degree of autonomy, followed by the Navratna and then the Miniratna. 

Maharatna companies have the liberty to invest between ₹1,000 crore and ₹5,000 crore or decide on investments up to 15% of their net worth in a project without seeking prior government approval. 

On the other hand, Navratna businesses are not required by the government to seek approval for investments up to ₹1,000 crore.

Bottomline

The Navratna status, a distinguished honour bestowed upon select Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) in India, represents their remarkable performance, potential, and strategic significance. This status is not just a symbol of prestige, but it also comes with a variety of benefits and privileges that boost the operational and financial independence of these enterprises.

Navratna companies have a crucial role in the Indian economy. Their strong performance and strategic initiatives contribute to the country’s GDP, employment opportunities, and industrial output. They also have a significant global presence, thereby elevating India’s position on the international stage.

The realm of Navratna companies serves as a powerful indicator of India’s economic strength and industrial tenacity.

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StockGro Team

StockGro is India’s first and largest ‘Social Investment’ platform aimed at helping you master the art of “Trading & Investment”. Trade, Invest and get rewarded to Learn everything about ‘Investments’ the fun-filled way.

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