Public Sector Undertakings
A government-owned corporation, state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, commercial government agency, public sector undertaking or parastatal is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government. Their legal status varies from being a part of government to stock companies with a state as a regular stockholder. There is no standard definition of a government-owned corporation (GOC) or state-owned enterprise (SOE), although the two terms can be used interchangeably. The defining characteristics are that they have a distinct legal form and they are established to operate in commercial affairs. While they may also have public policy objectives, GOCs should be differentiated from other forms of government agencies or state entities established to pursue purely non-financial objectives.
Government-owned corporations are common with natural monopolies and infrastructure such as railways and telecommunications, strategic goods and services (mail, weapons), natural resources and energy, politically sensitive business, broadcasting, demerit goods (alcohol) and merit goods (healthcare).
In India, a government-owned corporation is termed as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). This term is used to refer to companies in which the government (either the federal Union Government or the many state or territorial governments, or both) own a majority (51 percent or more) of the company equity. There are 251 PSU companies in India as of 2012.
Some examples include:
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