Advantages or Merits of Public Corporation
The following are some of the advantages or merits of public corporation.
1. Autonomy: Public corporation is an autonomous set up. Therefore it enjoys considerable independence and flexibility in its operations. Initiatives can be taken to tap opportunities and to improve efficiency.
2. Protection of public interest: Public corporations can formulate and implement policies which promote public welfare. Policies of the corporation are subject to ministerial review and parliamentary scrutiny. Therefore it would be ensured that public interest is protected and promoted.
3. Red tapism minimized: In a public corporation red-tapism and bureaucratic delays are minimized to a great extent. A file need not pass through different levels of bureaucracy as in a departmental undertaking.
4. Speedier decisions: Since bureaucracy and red-tapism are reduced to a considerable extent in public corporations, quick decisions can be taken. Delays in decision making is avoided and therefore problems can be solved faster, opportunities can be tapped in a better manner and overall functioning of the organization is improved.
5. Erase of raising funds: Since public corporations are government owned statutory bodies, they can raise the required funds by issuing bonds. They need not entirely depend on the government for their financial requirements.
6. Comparative prices: Profit is not the primary motive of public corporations. So it does not strive to charge high prices to maximize profits. Since it is basically formed to serve the public interest, it charges lower prices. Such lower prices benefit the general public and more number of people are able to consume the services of public corporations.
7. Economies of scale: Since they operate on a large scale, public corporation can reap the benefits of economies of scale. The benefits derived from economies of scale can be passed on to the general public in the form of cheaper prices, stable prices, better quality of service etc.
8. Employee welfare: A public corporation follows its own recruitment policy. It can recruit the best talent and provide them appropriate training. Better perks and amenities can be provided to the employees which improves their motivation level. Through these measures it is able to maintain a healthy employer-employee relationship, attract and retain talent and improve productivity levels.
Disadvantages or Demerits of Public Corporations
The following are some of the disadvantages or demerits of public corporations.
1. Political interference: Public corporations are a State enterprise. Though autonomy in functioning is said to be one of the strong points of public corporations, the reality is otherwise. They suffer from continued political interference and have to act according to the wishes of the political masters. For e.g. even after the steep increase in oil prices in global markets, ONGC is not able to increase its prices in the domestic markets, because of political interference.
2. Misuse of power: It enjoys immunity from parliamentary inquiry into its day-to-day functioning. Such immunity might induce some officials to misuse their power and indulge in corrupt practices. It takes considerable amount of time and effort to unearth corrupt acts and the corporation loses valuable resources.
3. Financial burden: When a public corporation incurs losses, the government provides subsidies to make good the loss. Such provision of subsidies on a regular basis places a great strain on government finances, more-so in the case of a developing economy like India.
4. Consumer interests ignored: Many public corporations operate as monopolies. Absence of competition leads to lethargic functioning, reduced focus on efficiency improvements and innovation and poor customer service with the result that consumer interests are ignored.