New Delhi: State-owned BHEL is aiming to achieve a net worth Rs 23,755 crore this fiscal as it will brighten the Company's prospects of getting the coveted Maharatna status.

BHEL has set a target of reaching the net worth Rs 23,755 crore in 2011-12, according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it has signed with the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

Once the target is realized, the PSU would have an average net worth over Rs 15,000 crore for three straight financial years -- one of the criteria needed for the Maharatna status.

Even as the Company has set a goal for qualifying for the coveted status given to PSUs, the Government is considering granting it the Maharatna tag soon with a condition that it would meet the criteria within this fiscal, sources said.

The Government is also planning to offload five per cent of its stake in BHEL through a follow-on public offer that could fetch the exchequer about Rs 4,700 crore.

Once it becomes Maharatna, BHEL board would be able to take decisions on investments up to Rs 5,000 crore, without the Government approval. Such flexibility will give a boost to the PSU, which is facing stiff competition especially from Chinese power gear makers.

At present, BHEL is a Navratna -- which allows it to independently take investments decisions of up to Rs 1,000 crore.

The conditional status for the cash-rich BHEL is being considered also for the reason that it is scouting for investment opportunities within and outside the country.

To be eligible for the coveted status, a Company also needs to have an average annual turnover and net profit of more than Rs 25,000 crore and Rs 5,000 crore respectively, for three consecutive fiscals. Reflecting improved business performance, the net worth of BHEL has been on the rise in recent years. While it stood at Rs 20,119 crore last year, the same was at Rs 15,917 crore in 2009-10.

In the last fiscal, BHEL's turnover was Rs 43,451 crore, while net profit was Rs 6,021 crore. During 2009-10, turnover and net profit were Rs 34,154 crore and Rs 4,311 crore, respectively.

Betting on better business prospects both in the domestic and international markets, the Company expects to see a net profit of Rs 6,156 crore in 2011-12.

For the current financial year, the Company has pegged a turnover of Rs 45,000 crore.

BHEL expects to augment its manufacturing capacity to 20,000 MW per annum from the existing 15,000 MW.

During the April-June quarter of this year, the Company reported an over 22 per cent jump in its net profit at Rs 816 crore, helped by higher sales and better cost management efforts.

The Company's sales in the first quarter of the current fiscal climbed to Rs 7,433 crore from Rs 6,761 crore in the year-ago period.

(Agencies)