'Reckless privatisation' of PSUs to hand over land parcels to crony capitalist friends: Cong
The Congress on Tuesday accused the BJP government of reckless privatisation of public sector assets and alleged that its plan is to hand over land parcels of strategic PSUs to its select crony capitalist friends.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said going by its plans the government seems keen to completely sell off all public sector banks to private hands which would have serious consequences on the economy.
She also dubbed the BJP as ''Beche Jao Party'' and accused it of ''double-speak'' as on the one hand it was talking of providing jobs to 'Agniveers' in defence PSUs and on the other, it was privatising them.
''The Narendra Modi government's reckless privatisation and its plans to put India on sale now poses huge risks to Indian economy and our people. The Modi government is now all set to completely exit public sector banks being privatised - an ill thought out strategy with dangerous repercussions,'' she told reporters. ''Given its sinister plans to put India on sale BJP should now be called the 'Beche Jao Party' - but the Congress will oppose this reckless sale of strategic profit making assets including the complete exit from public sector banks being sold,'' she claimed.
Shrinate said after listing LIC at a wrong time, it led to loss of nearly USD 18 billion (one-third of its valuation) and the government has been forced to stop its ''reckless privatisation'' of four PSUs in last two months.
She said BPCL sale was called off after two of the three investors withdrew, deterred by faulty fuel pricing policies and uncertainties, and sale of Pawan Hans now on hold after 51 percent stake was sold to a company that had failed to honour a previous bid for an insolvent company, and the NCLT Kolkata had ruled against it.
The Congress leader claimed that Central Electronics Limited is a Ministry of Science and Technology PSU that provides critical materials and services for strategic sectors such as defence, railways and energy. It was severely undervalued and 100 per cent equity was sold to a financial company with no scientific background that had links to BJP politicians, she claimed, adding that it is now on hold.
The sale of Container Corporation of India (Concor), a unit of Indian Railways, was put on hold over Congress party's charges of how the government was using ''backdoor arrangement'' to hand over railway land acquired from farmers at a concessional rate or free of cost to a private party for commercial use, she alleged.
''The privatisation of three PSUs has been delayed because of issues over the valuation of land. CONCOR has land around railway stations, Shipping Corporation of India has land in Maharashtra (especially Mumbai) while Bharat Earth Movers (land in WB and Karnataka). It is clear the single minded objective is to hand over these ventures and the lakhs of acres of land they hold to Mr Modi's chosen few crony capitalist friends,'' she alleged.
Shrinate further alleged that the government has sold 41 ordinance factories, weakened DRDO, is even selling large and strategic defence PSU's like Bharat Earth Movers besides Bharat Electricals Ltd. Terming bank nationalisation by Indira Gandhi as one of the strongest decisions, she said PSU banks should not be considered as only economic entities but are tools of social justice and empowerment. They are important for development of agriculture sector and small industry as well, as private banks are hesitant to provide priority lending to the needy and under-privileged sections of society.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)