New Delhi, Feb 4 : State power equipment-maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has been given Maharatna status by the government.
"Consistent high performance, while operating in a highly competitive environment and fulfilment of the required eligibility criteria has enabled BHEL to attain the Maharatna status," BHEL said in a statement.
A Maharatna firm can take investment decisions up to Rs.50 billion without going to the government.
A company qualifying for the Maharatna status should have an average annual turnover of more than Rs.250 billion over the last three years.
The PSU must also have a net worth of over Rs.150 billion and net profit of more than Rs.50 billion in its last three years.
BHEL had a turnover of Rs.495.1 billion and net profit of Rs.70.4 billion in 2012.
The company said Maharatna status will help it realise its long-term objectives and reach a turnover of one trillion rupees by 2016-17.
BHEL will be able to "tap big ticket opportunities for equity participation in large size international projects to gain access to technology, engineered materials and market", it added.
The company is globally among the largest, with a staff strength of over 49,000.
The six other Maharatna companies are ONGC, Indian Oil, NTPC, Coal India, SAIL and GAIL, which was given the status last week.
The government started the Maharatna scheme in 2009 with the aim of allowing more operational freedom to top performing PSUs.