August 29, 2021

NATIONAL MONETISATION PIPELINE: A Nefarious Design to Loot National Assets: CITU

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a statement issued on August 24, has denounced BJP government’s project ‘National Monetisation Pipeline’ (NMP) to hand over productive national assets including vital functional infrastructural assets worth several lakhs of crores of rupees to the domestic and foreign private monopolies, for a pittance. It said that the project is a big step of international finance capital dictated neoliberal policy. “NMP is a pipeline of corruption while handing over public assets in private hands. It is a project of destroying the national economy and bringing untold miseries to the workers and other sections of the toiling people,” it said.

The project NMP, announced by the union finance minister on August 23, includes handing over to the private corporate cronies, inter alia,  26,700 kilometres of highways worth Rs 1.6 lakh crore; 400 railway stations and 150 trains (worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore); 42,300 circuit kilometres of power transmission lines (worth Rs 0.67 lakh crore);  5,000 MW hydro, solar and wind power generation assets (worth Rs 0.32 lakh crore); 8,000 kilometres of national gas pipelines (worth Rs 0.24 lakh crore); 4,000 kilometre pipelines of IOC and HPCL (worth Rs 0.22 lakh crore); BSNL and MTNL towers (worth Rs 0.39 lakh crore); 21 airports and 31 ports (worth Rs 0.34 lakh crore); 160 coal mining projects (worth Rs 0.32 lakh crore); and two sports stadiums (worth Rs 0.11 lakh crore) etc.

The CITU said that the assessment of the worth of these huge national assets at Rs 6 lakh crore as mentioned above from the official statement itself exposes the atrocious extent of deliberate undervaluation only to facilitate the private corporates to take over these vital infrastructural assets at throw away prices. There is more to come.

“The destructive NMP is not meant for augmenting infrastructural growth in the country in the least as claimed by the finance minister and the NITI Aayog. This is designed to allow their private corporate masters to earn huge revenue out of these going to be privatised/leased out national infrastructure assets without making any capital investment. This is nothing but loot of national assets,” CITU reiterated.

The CITU said that instead of investing in infrastructural growth, the private corporate lobby including foreign entities are going to be provided through the NMP, the avenue to mint huge wealth through exploitation of national infrastructural assets handed over to them under the garb of asset monetisation. It added that more concessions are to come after the initial announcement, as the past experience shows, to draw the unwilling bidders.

The CITU called upon the workers and the people of the country to unitedly voice their condemnation of such anti-national designs of the BJP government at the centre and resolutely fight to defend the national assets being robbed by the foreign and domestic monopolies with the help of their servile government at the centre.