“Prime Minister sells the country’s crown jewels”: Rahul Gandhi targets Center on national monetization pipeline
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked the central government over the National monetization pipeline (NMP), alleging that the BJP-led government is selling all assets created over the past 70 years to the prime minister’s “industrial friends”.
“The government led by Narendra Modi is selling the Indian crown jewels built by previous governments with public money over 70 years,” Gandhi said at a press conference with the top congressional leader. , P Chidambaram.
The Congress leader alleged that the BJP government’s privatization plan aims to create monopolies in key sectors and that it will cut jobs.
On Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the NMP, worth Rs 6 lakh crore, which included value creation by involving private companies in all sectors of infrastructure – from passenger trains and stations to airports , roads and stadiums.
Reading a list of ‘offered’ assets, Gandhi said: “The roads are sold for Rs 1.6 lakh crores – 26,700 kilometers of national roads; Railways for Rs 1.5 lakh crores – 400 stations, 150 trains, tracks and pyres; Transmission of electricity – 42,300 kilometers of transmission network circuit; Electricity production for Rs 40,000 crores – 6,000 MW of hydroelectric, solar or wind assets; Gas pipeline for Rs 25,000 crores – 8,000 kilometers of GAIL pipeline; Gasoline pipeline for Rs 22,000 crore – 4,000 kilometers of Indian Oil and HPCL pipelines; Telecom for Rs 35,000 crore – 2.86 lakh kilometers of BharatNet fiber optic; Warehousing for Rs 29,000 crores; Mining for Rs 32,000 crore – 160 coal mines; Airports for Rs 21,000 crores – 25 airports; Ports for Rs 13,000 crores – 31 projects; 9 ports; and stadiums for Rs 11,000 crores – 2 national stadiums.
While acknowledging that Congress also had a policy of privatization during his reign, Gandhi said his party “was not against privatization” but “felt that there should be a strategy of privatization”.
In addition, taking photos of the relocation of the Center, Congress leader P Chidambaram said: “The only thing I could get from the finance minister’s press conference and reports in your media is that we will fundraise! Can this be a goal in itself? We will increase by 1.5 lakh crore per year for 4 years. Can this be the sole objective of virtually selling assets built over 70 years? “
Congress called the government’s infrastructure monetization plan “legalized looting and organized looting,” alleging that invaluable public goods created over decades are being handed over to elected few. He further alleged that the government is handing over assets worth millions of dollars from the hard work of the people to their billionaire “friends”.
Speaking to the Center, Congress Secretary-General Priyanka Gandhi Vadra previously claimed that the government was giving the “Aatmanirbhar jumla (rhetoric of autonomy)”, but had made the country dependent on its “billionaire friends” .
“While giving the ‘Aatmanirbhar’ ‘jumla’, they made the whole government dependent on ‘billionaire friends’. All the work for these billionaire friends and all the wealth for them too, ”she said in a Hindi tweet.
“आत्मनिर्भर” जुमला देते-देते पूरी सरकार को ही “अरबपति मित्रों” पर निर्भर कर दिया।
काम उन्हीं अरबपति मित्रों के लिए, संपत्ति उन्हीं के लिए।
70 में देश की जनता की मेहनत से बनी लाखों करोड़ रु की संपत्ति अपने अरबपति मित्रों को दे रही है ये सरकार।
– Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) August 24, 2021
Meanwhile, BJP leader Smriti Irani hit back at Congress saying that the opposition party’s allegations exposed its “political hypocrisy” because it had monetized the Mumbai-Pune highway and airports.
At @INCIndia India’s asset sales allegations with the NMP plan @smritiirani retaliated by saying that he exposed the “political hypocrisy” of the Oppn party because it had monetized the Mumbai-Pune highway, the airports @IndianExpress
– Liz Mathew (@MathewLiz) August 24, 2021
The four-year national monetization pipeline has been announced to provide a clear framework for monetization and give potential investors a ready list of assets to generate interest in investments. The government stressed that these are brownfield assets, which have been “stripped” of execution risks and should therefore encourage private investment. Structuring monetization transactions providing a balanced risk profile of assets and efficient execution of the NPM will be a major challenge.
Assets in the roads, railways and electricity sector will account for over 66% of the total estimated value of assets to be monetized, with the remainder coming from sectors such as telecommunications, mining, aviation, ports , natural gas and petroleum product pipelines, warehouses and stadiums.
No less than 25 Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports, including Chennai, Bhopal, Varanasi and Vadodara, as well as 40 stations, 15 railway stadiums and an unidentified number of railway settlements have been identified for private investment. .
Declaring that there is no transfer of property or land, the Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman had declared: “The NMP speaks of infra assets of brownfields where investments have already been made, where there is a completed asset that languishes or is not fully monetized. or that remains underutilized.
She added that the monetization will create additional value for the creation of infrastructure in the country and explore innovative ways of private participation without transfer of ownership from the government.
The government had announced plans for NPM in this year’s budget and earlier in August.
Center officially announced the “sale” of India: CPI (M)
CPI (M) alleged on Tuesday that the Center, with its decision to monetize its assets in key sectors, “officially” announced the “sale of India”.
“The central government has officially announced the sale of India. The National Monetization Pipeline released yesterday by the Minister of Finance details the spoils of our national assets and infrastructure. Is it an outright plunder of people’s wealth? Said the CPI (M).
The Left Party has also alleged that this amounts to “selling family silverware” to meet the country’s daily expenses, which “does not make good economic sense or common sense.”
“Selling assets for a song when the markets are down only benefits crony businesses and promotes crony capitalism. The political bureau of the CPI (M) calls on the Indian people to protest and resist this looting of our national property, ”he declared.
With PTI inputs