Chennai, Jan 17 (IANS) Asian power equipment major Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) will be accorded Maharatna status with the Committee of Secretaries clearing the proposal, Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel Wednesday.
Addressing employees of BHEL's boiler plant at Tiruchirapalli, Patel said that BHEL was amongst the finest companies, not only in India but in the world. A company statement quoted the minister as saying that BHEL's 49,000 strong technical, educated and committed workforce hailing from all parts of the country was one of the biggest assets the nation could have.
The minister was on a visit to BHEL's high pressure boiler and seamless steel tube plants at Tiruchirapalli, around 320 km from here.
He called upon BHEL to look at new avenues for growth and to tap all opportunities including new business sectors like solar energy by thinking in futuristic terms.
The Maharatna status will give BHEL the freedom to invest up to Rs.5,000 crore in a joint venture or in a wholly-owned subsidiary without government's permission.
Currently there are five Maharatna government companies -- Coal India, NTPC, Indian Oil Corporation, ONGC and SAIL.