In his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi singled out three PSUs as successful turnaround stories. These are Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), and Air India. The PM said these corporations were deep in the red when he took over the charge of the country. In a light-hearted remark, he commented that while mobile, shipping, and airline businesses were worldwide making money, our three PSUs were surviving on the handouts of the taxpayers. So a strategic planning was initiated to turn them around.
For the first time in a decade, Air India reported a modest operational profit in 2015-16, two years ahead of the target as per its turnaround plan. This is significant since any profit, even if it is at the operational level, has been generated for the first time since the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines merged to create the present behemoth.
Similarly, Shipping Corp. of India Ltd (SCI) reported a more than seven-fold jump in net profit during the March quarter of the last financial year at Rs.101.49 crore from Rs.13.24 crore a year ago. In the year to March 2015, India’s biggest ocean carrier posted a net profit of Rs.200.93 crore from a loss of Rs.274.66 crore a year earlier. This is its first full-year net profit in four years.
BSNL also geared itself up in FY 2015-16 and is expected to post over three-fold jump in its operating profit at Rs 2,000 crore. BSNL was in a heavy loss. To bring it to an operating profit of Rs 672 crore in 2014-15 was a challenging task. Far more challenging was the task to raise its profit over three-fold to Rs 2,000 crore in FY16.