PSUs Now in the Forefront vis-a-vis Private Sector

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sbi bank logoPSUs are back with a bang. Last January 13 the IT sector giant Infosys had announced that it had transferred its cash worth Rs.1,000 crore from the private sector banks to the major public sector bank State Bank of India. In fact, quite a large number of retail investors had already done that. Perturbed by the Indian banking sector being affected by the “American sub-prime crisis”, they decided to go in for PSU banks.

PSUs are hiring and are also likely to enhance the staffer’s pay checks by 50% based upon the Pay Commission report. Earlier many senior Government bureaucrats would retire early in order to join the private sector for lucrative offers. But now they prefer to continue with the Government rather than risk it out with a sector where the job market is in doldrums.

For several years, PSUs returned empty handed from IIM-A for recruiting fresh starters. But now, the situation is different, as 41 out of 234 belonging to the 2009 Class have signed up for a “sarkari” post.

One must recall that prior to IT days, Government jobs were coveted posts and raised one’s marital prospects. A public sector bank officer enjoyed a high status in the rural areas, and getting selected to public sector bank was considered to be a top achievement next to the All India Services. Bank officers were much in demand in the bridegroom market and one had to pay high dowry to fix a match. Of course of late, the PSUs got overshadowed by the glamour of the IT industry, and the lucrative offers of the IT sector lured the young job entrants. Multinationals took over and young job seekers preferred to venture abroad for higher salaries. PSUs were given step-motherly treatment. They were considered to be old fashioned and outdated in their operations.

Now the scenario has changed. Even in the United States, which is a staunch capitalist country, the US Government is desperately trying to provide bailouts to icons of capitalism such as General Motors and Citibank.

PSUs are recording profits, while private sector companies are suffering from heavy losses. Layoffs in the private sector have become the order of the day. Public sector banks have increased their business as well as profitability. During the quarter of October-December the mobilization efforts of several private sector banks had recorded a dip, in the case of public sector banks it had increased rapidly. During the quarter of October – December 2008, SBI recorded an increase in profit by 37%, whereas, ICIC Bank profits fell by 3.5%.

As the saying goes make hay while the sunshine sShines” – for the PSUs the future seems to be quite bright and promising.

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