New Delhi: MMTC and Airport Authority of India (AAI) are the new PSU aspirants for the coveted Navratna status which gives greater operational autonomy, a senior official has said.

"More and more companies are approaching us and seeking Navratna status. Airport Authority of India (AAI) and MMTC have approached us for the status," DPE Secretary Bhaskar Chatterjee said here on Tuesday.

The MMTC proposal, which meets the criteria, may be examined next month, he said.

The criteria for granting the Navratna status is based on a composite score system. The PSUs are accorded scores on different performance parameters like net profit, networth and manpower cost to total cost of production.

The board of directors of 'Navratna' PSUs can take investment decisions up to Rs 1,000 crore without approval from the government.

Though the AAI, which was set up under an Act of Parliament, does not qualify for the status, the parameters themselves may be rationalised, the Secretary said.

The staff strength in the AAI is not proportionate to the expenses on production, he added.

It was constituted by an Act of Parliament and came into being on April 1, 1995 by merging National Airports Authority and International Airports Authority of India.

The company is engaged in creation, upgradation and maintenance of civil aviation infrastructure both on the ground and air space in the country.