PSU Explainer – What are Miniratna, Navratna and Maharatna companies?

6 mins read
by Angel One
Discover India's CPSE classifications - Miniratna company, Navratna company, and Maharatna company, their criteria, privileges, and economic importance. Explore in-depth insights here.

India’s central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) play a crucial role in driving the nation’s economic growth and development. These CPSEs are categorised into three distinct groups based on their performance, operational autonomy, and strategic importance – Miniratna, Navratna, and Maharatna. The primary objective of designating different CPSEs with “ratna” status was to grant the state-run organisations operational autonomy and decision-making authority. The Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises is in charge of administering CPSEs.

Miniratna Status

The Miniratna status is granted to CPSEs that exhibit consistent profitability, financial stability, and operational efficiency. This status empowers CPSEs with certain decision-making powers and operational autonomy within specified thresholds. There are two sub-categories under Miniratna:

  1. Miniratna-I: CPSEs with profits for three consecutive years, a pre-tax profit exceeding ₹30 crore in at least one of those years, and a positive net worth are classified as Miniratna-I PSUs. These companies have demonstrated robust financial performance and management capabilities.
  2. Miniratna-II: CPSEs with a continuous profit streak and positive net worth for the last three years are categorised as Miniratna-II companies. They showcase financial resilience and operational excellence, contributing significantly to India’s economic growth.

A CPSE shall also meet certain additional requirements, such as avoiding missing payments on loans or interest owed to the government. Miniratna enterprises are also independent of government guarantees and budgetary backing.

Miniratna Category-I Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs)

Here is a list of top Category-I Miniratna Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs):

Company Stock Ticker
Grid Controller of India Limited  GRID-INDIA
Airports Authority of India  AAI
Antrix Corporation Limited ANTRIX
Bharat Dynamics Limited  BDL
Bharat Earth Movers Limited BEML
  1. Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-INDIA): Established in 2009, GRID-INDIA ensures the smooth operation of the Indian Power System. It focuses on efficient power transfer within and across regions and facilitates international power exchanges. The company also manages competitive wholesale electricity markets and settlement systems.
  2. Airports Authority of India (AAI): Founded in 1995, AAI operates under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India. AAI’s responsibilities include developing, upgrading, and managing civil aviation infrastructure across India. It also manages a network of 137 airports, including international, domestic, and customs airports, along with civil enclaves.
  3. Antrix Corporation Limited: Established in 1992, Antrix Corporation operates under the Department of Space. It provides services such as transponder provisioning, remote sensing, spacecraft and subsystems, and mission support. Antrix also offers a ground infrastructure for space-based needs.
  4. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL): Founded in 1970, BDL specialises in manufacturing guided weapon systems. It operates manufacturing units in Hyderabad, Telangana, and Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. BDL’s product range includes surface-to-air missiles, air defence systems, torpedoes, and air-to-air missiles.
  5. Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML): Headquartered in Bangalore, BEML was established in 1964. BEML manufactures earthmoving equipment, underground mining equipment, railway equipment, and heavy-duty hydraulic aggregates. It has manufacturing plants in Karnataka and Kerala.

Navratna CPSEs enjoy greater financial and operational autonomy, enabling them to undertake strategic initiatives, investments, and international collaborations more efficiently. CPSEs with Miniratna-I status are eligible for Navratna status if they meet certain criteria, including excellent performance ratings and a composite score in specified performance indicators. The criteria for Navratna status include:

  1. Obtaining an “Excellent” or “Very Good” rating in Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) assessments for three out of the last five years.
  2. Achieving a composite score of 60 or more in six selected performance indicators, including: 
  • Net Profit to Net Worth
  • Manpower Cost to Total Cost of Production
  • PBDIT (Profit before depreciation, interest and tax) to Capital Employed
  • PBIT to Turnover
  • Earnings Per Share
  • Inter-Sectoral Performance.

Here is a list of top “Navratna” Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs):

Company Stock Ticker
Bharat Electronics Limited BEL
Container Corporation of India  CONCOR
Engineers India Limited EIL
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited  HAL
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited  MTNL
  1. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL): Founded in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, in 1954, BEL is a state-owned aerospace and defence company with nine factories and regional offices. The company’s product range includes Avionics, Radars, Weapon Systems, C4I Systems, and Electronic Voting Machines.
  2. Container Corporation of India (CONCOR): Established in 1988 under the Ministry of Railways, CONCOR took over seven inland container depots from Indian Railways in 1989. It played a crucial role in India’s containerised cargo transport, introduced in 1966. Rail transport is often preferred for cargo over medium and long distances due to India’s vast size.
  3. Engineers India Limited (EIL): Founded in 1965 under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, EIL provides engineering services for petroleum refineries and industrial projects. It specialises in petroleum refining, petrochemicals, pipelines, offshore and onshore oil and gas, terminals, mining, infrastructure, etc.
  4. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL): HAL, headquartered in Bangalore, operates under the Ministry of Defence. Involved in aerospace operations, HAL designs, fabricates, and assembles aircraft, jet engines, helicopters, and spare parts.
  5. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL): Established in 1986, MTNL is a state-owned telecommunications service provider headquartered in New Delhi. It offers services in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Mauritius.

Maharatna Status

The Maharatna status is the highest accolade among CPSEs; they are industry giants known for their innovation, leadership, and contributions to national development. To qualify for Maharatna status, CPSEs must meet stringent criteria, including:

  1. Holding Navratna status.
  2. Being listed on Indian stock exchanges.
  3. Complying with minimum shareholding norms.
  4. Achieving an average annual turnover of more than ₹25,000 crore, average annual net worth of over ₹15,000 crore, and average annual net profit of over ₹5,000 crore in the last three years.

Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs)

Here is a list of top “Maharatna” Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs):

Company Stock Ticker
National Thermal Power Corporation  NTPC
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation  ONGC
Steel Authority of India Limited  SAIL
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited BHEL
Indian Oil Corporation Limited IOCL
  1. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC): In May 2010, the Indian government granted NTPC Maharatna status. Founded on 7 November 1975, NTPC operates from 70 locations in India, one in Sri Lanka, and two in Bangladesh. Its five regional headquarters oversee the company’s operations in India. 
  2. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC): Established on 14 August 1956, ONGC transitioned from the Oil and Natural Gas Directorate to the Oil and Natural Gas Commission under the Indian Government. It plays a significant role in exploring and exploiting hydrocarbons across 26 sedimentary basins in India. Additionally, ONGC manages over 11,000 kilometres of pipelines within the country.
  3. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL): Based in New Delhi, SAIL is a state-owned steel-making company and ranks as the 20th largest steel producer globally and the 3rd largest in India. SAIL operates five integrated steel plants and three special steel plants across India.
  4. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL): BHEL designs, engineers, manufactures, and services products for various core sectors like power, transportation, renewable energy, oil and gas, and defence. The company supplies Indian Railways with electric locomotives and defence equipment like the Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) naval guns.
  5. Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL): As India’s largest commercial oil company, IOCL has diversified into alternative energy and global downstream operations. It has subsidiaries in multiple countries and engages in refining, pipeline transportation, marketing petroleum products, and exploration and production of crude oil, natural gas, and petrochemicals.


The classification of CPSEs into Miniratna, Navratna, and Maharatna categories reflects India’s strategic approach to empowering and awarding state-run enterprises. These classifications not only acknowledge the achievements and capabilities of CPSEs but also provide valuable insights for investors, stakeholders, and policymakers.


What benefits do Navratna and Maharatna companies enjoy?

They have enhanced financial and operational autonomy, allowing them to undertake strategic initiatives and collaborations more efficiently.

How does a CPSE qualify for Navratna status?

A CPSE with Miniratna-I status must meet additional criteria like excellent performance ratings and a composite score in specified indicators.

How does a CPSE qualify for Miniratna status?

By demonstrating consistent profitability, positive net worth, and financial independence.