A HUGE rally was organised in Visakhapatnam on August 26 to protest the government’s move to privatise public sector undertakings. The CPI(M) city committee organised the rally from the railway station to the RTC Complex on the slogan: ‘Save Public Sector, Save Visakhapatnam and Nation’. Hundreds of people joined the rally which ended with a public meeting at the RTC Complex.
Addressing the public meeting, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member B V Raghavulu said that privatisation of public sector companies was an anti-national act. The public sector units were built with the money of the nation. So, every citizen of this nation should come forward to protest this outright sale of public sector, he said.
Beginning of the rally from the railway station is significant as the BJP-led NDA government has proposed to lease out or sell vacant railway plots in and around the station at a throwaway price.
Visakhapatnam is a hub of public sector units. Dredging Corporation of India is being sought to be privatised. Raghavulu said that no private company could compete with DCI. Such an institution is being sought to be privatised to satisfy the henchmen of the NDA. Cities such as Hyderabad and Bangalore grew because of public sector units. Public sector means growth of the nation.
Lakhs of workers toiling day and night contributed to the public sector. The protest is not just for protection of workers. The public sector is the backbone of our economy. It is the pillar of self-reliance and sovereignty. All these years, public sector companies contributed lakhs of crores of rupees to the exchequer in the forms of tax, dividend and profit, he said.
The government think tank NITI Aayog has made many proposals. Various PSUs, including defence production units, are to be handed over to private industry. Selling of PSUs to multinational companies at the behest of finance capital is nothing but sedition and treachery, Raghavulu said.
CPI(M) Andhra Pradesh state secretariat member Ch. Narasingarao gave details of the programmes that are to be held during the next two months for the protection of public sector.
Before the commencement of the meeting, Praja Natya Mandali staged various cultural performances.