June 19, 2016

CITU Condemns Retrograde Move to Sell-out CPSEs

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has condemned the retrograde move by the Modi government to fast-track sale of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) with huge asset base to private hands. With this dubious intent, the NITI Ayog has been made to submit a list of CPSEs to the Prime Minister’s Office recommending fast-track sale of these companies on various pretext. It is a matter of alarm that in order to facilitate sale-out of CPSEs, the NITI Ayog has been made to recommend further capital investment from national exchequer in some of these CPSEs like Air India, FACT, Chennai Petroleum, Madras Fertilisers, etc. not just to revamp their operational efficiency but to make them saleable to private hands. The history of such strategic sale of around nine CPSEs, including IPCL and BALCO, during the previous NDA regime reveals that each of these CPSEs with their huge asset-base were sold at prices less than one-fourth of their real asset value at then market prices, that too, virtually to a single bidder, as observed by CAG at that time. The Narendra Modi government, at present, has become more desperate in selling out huge national assets in the chosen CPSEs to its private corporate constituency, both domestic and foreign, at a throw away price, much to the detriment of national interest. Two years’ BJP regime could neither create nor facilitate any new establishment for productive employment generation in any significant scale except making loud noises through media-hype and creating statistical illusions on GDP growth, whereas the government is desperately moving ahead for mega-sale of huge national assets through sale of CPSEs. The NITI Ayog, while making such disastrous recommendations along with a list of CPSEs for sale, went to the extent of arguing that “non-priority sector CPSE, once revived, could always be considered for strategic disinvestment”. Can airlines, petroleum companies and fertiliser producing units be construed as “non-priority sector” in our country by any stretch of imagination? But a government in a hurry to establish its corporate loyalty and also so-called “reforms-credential” can certainly go to such devilish extent, totally unconcerned of national interest. Such retrograde move of frittering away national assets in country’s CPSEs must be combated and resisted by the working class movement of the country. The united platform of the country’s trade union movement, comprising almost all the trade unions and federations, has already decided to go in for countrywide general strike on September 2, demanding, inter alia, the withdrawal of such disastrous move of sale-out of national assets and CPSEs, in order to defend the working people as well as to defend the national economy. The CITU, while appealing to the working people and trade unions in the country irrespective of affiliations to prepare for staging the countrywide general strike on September 2 in a massive way, has called for organising united protest in workplaces and industrial centres against such retrograde move of privatisation by the BJP government.