A recent study of Public Enterprises Survey data from 2012-2013 to 2021-22 revealed that jobs in Central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) in India have declined by over 2.7 lakh. A decrease in employment from 17.3 lakh in March 2013 to 14.6 lakh in March 2022 was recorded by the study. The research took into account Public Sector Units (PSUs), a few statutory companies, and their subsidiaries with more than 50 per cent equity owned by the central government. The CPSEs faced the twin challenges of job loss and an increase in contractual employment. Out of the 389 PSUs surveyed, 248 are currently operational.
Contract employees made up 17 per cent of the whole workforce in March 2013, while daily or casual workers made up 2.5 per cent. But by 2022, the percentage of contract employees jumped to 36 per cent and the overall proportion of daily or casual workers increased to 6.6 per cent. As a result, 42.5 per cent of PSU employees were classified as contractual or casual workers in March 2022, when compared to 19 per cent in March 2013.As per an analysis of individual firms, seven PSUs laid off over 20,000 employees during the last ten years. Thirteen companies had more than 10,000 workers cut from their payrolls.
The company with the most job losses on the list is Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which let go of over 1.8 lakh workers. The Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), both reported more than 30,000 job losses during the period.
Both PSUs that are profitable and those that are facing losses are included in the corporations reporting employment reduction. Out of the main companies, Air India has undergone privatisation, while BSNL and MTNL were among the top 10 loss-making PSUs in 2021-2022. The list also includes SAIL and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), two PSUs with significant profit margins in 2021-2022. The data indicate that employment reductions are not related to losses suffered by central government agencies.
On the other hand, the Indian Oil Corporation tops the list of PSUs that created the most jobs during the last decade – adding about 80,000 new vacancies. Throughout the evaluation period, ten PSUs each created more than 10,000 jobs.