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RSS affiliate set to launch agitation as Modi govt plans stake sale in PSUs

After Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of disinvestment in PSUs, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh is organising a convention, ‘Save Public Sector’.

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New Delhi: RSS-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) is set to launch a nationwide agitation Thursday to protest against the Narendra Modi government’s privatisation and disinvestment plans.

BMS is organising a convention, ‘Save Public Sector’, in the national capital to launch the agitation, union national president C.K. Saji Narayanan told ThePrint.

The union will also prepare a memorandum over the issue and send it to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, sources in the BMS said.

The move comes after Sitharaman announced plans to undertake strategic stake sales in five public sector undertaking (PSU) enterprises, including Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), Container Corp of India (CONCOR) and the Shipping Corporation of India, and transfer of management control in these firms.

Further, the civil aviation ministry is also looking at privatising Air India. On Tuesday, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri told ThePrint that the sale is not a choice but the “only way forward”.


Also read: 4 non-BJP states rule out GST rate hike ahead of council meet to discuss revenue boost


The convention

The BMS convention will discuss privatisation in sectors like aviation, strategic sale and corporatisation of PSUs, especially in railway and defence sectors, and mergers of banks.

Several unions and federations under BMS are set to attend the convention.

“Selling of national wealth should be the last resort of the government. The convention will take place tomorrow (Thursday) and the outcome of it will be shared with the ministry with our demands,” Narayanan told ThePrint.

“We are against privatisation and disinvestment and will launch a nationwide agitation to ensure our voices are heard,” he said.

Narayanan added that a policy correction is required and the government should prioritise that.

With planned meetings and dharnas, the BMS is confident that the agitation would force the government to rethink its current strategy.

Trouble for Modi govt from within

This isn’t the first time that bodies affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the ruling BJP, have raised concerns over the economic policies of the Modi government.

Earlier, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) had pushed against India’s move to join the RCEP, a mega free trade deal that was proposed between the 10 ASEAN members and their six trading partners — India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

SJM national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan had said if RCEP was allowed, China, which is already dismantling Indian industries, would end up killing it.

India formally opted out of RCEP soon after.

SJM had also termed the Modi government’s strategic disinvestment of public sector enterprises an “imprudent business decision” that goes against India’s national Interest.

Similarly, BMS too has been questioning the disinvestment policy of the government and has chiefly blamed the government think-tank, Niti Aayog, for it.


Also read: Modi govt set to miss fiscal deficit target for 2019-20


 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Government inefficiency/incompetence should not be shown on PSU’s, they are assets of the people. The money earned by them is going for the public good and they are making sound profits. PSU’s are providing employment directly and through ancillaries, also indirect employment,more than any private enterprise/industry. They are not siphoning off money, they are building more assets unlike private. The real value of these assets in today’s terms is in lakhs of crores and proposing to sell off for few thousands of crores.The Government action is imprudent and mismanagement of national assets/wealth.

  2. There is no dearth of anachronistic fools in RSS ranks. Government’s business is not to run businesses, but to govern the country. As the proverb goes “Jis desh mein Sarkar Vyaparee, us desh mein log bhikaree”. Before the profitable PSUs become another set of Air India for which there are no takers, Government should sell these PSUs for profit.

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