India's top state-run firms have cut tens of thousands of jobs from 2011 to 2017, the annual reports of these companies show. Jobs in top public sector units such as Coal India, Indian Oil Corporation, NTPC, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has shrunk over the last five years from 2011-12 to 2016-17.
As many as 42,053 jobs were lost during 2014-15 to 2016-17, a drop of 6.12 per cent during the NDA regime. The story was no better during the earlier UPA regime. From 2011-12 to 2013-14, the number of jobs lost stood at 42,296, a drop of 5.54 per cent, according to the employment data collected from the Annual Reports of eight Maharatna and 14 Navratna public sector units (PSUs).
"Improving productivity per employee could be a reason for PSUs hiring less", a Coal India official said.
An official of NTPC said that performance and growth of a company is a crucial factor that plays a role in hiring. "If the PSU is not growing enough, hiring is impacted as cost per employee is a significant factor. If the per employee cost shoots up then eventually it would hurt the unit's margins and profitability," the official said.
Improvements in productivity and automation have been cited as the other reasons behind the gradual decline in hiring in PSUs.
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) leads the list of PSUs with the highest drop in hiring at 32.90 per cent from 2011-12 to 2016-17. The other PSUs where the decline in hiring has been sharp include Shipping Corporation of India (SCI, 23.28 per cent), SAIL (21.73 per cent), Coal India (16.86 per cent) Rural Electrification Corporation (REC, 16.51 per cent), BHEL (16.24 per cent), Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC, 15.24 per cent) and Engineers India Ltd (14.92 per cent).
However, there are a few PSUs which have shown an increase in hiring during the period under review. Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has shown a growth of 31.66 per cent in hiring between 2011 and 2017. Similarly, Container Corporation of India and ONGC too have been good performers with their hiring going up by 26 per cent and 2.28 per cent respectively.
The eight Maharatnas that were reviewed are ONGC, Coal India, IOC, BHEL, NTPC, SAIL, BPCL and GAIL.
Maharatna companies are the ones which have an average annual turnover of over Rs 25,000 crore, average annual net worth of over Rs 15,000 crore and an average annual net profit after tax of over Rs 5,000 crore, during the last 3 years.
The 14 Navratna companies reviewed are SCI, Hindustan Petroleum, REC, Power Grid Corporation of India, PFC, Consolidated Carpet Industries, Bharat Electronics Limited, Engineers India Limited, National Aluminium Company Limited, NMDC, MTNL, Oil India, NLC and NBCC.
Navratna companies are the ones which obtain 'excellent' or 'very good' rating under the Memorandum of Understanding system in the last three years and have a composite score of 60 or above in the six selected performance parameters.