Cabinet ministers train gun on Centre's privatisation move
Kolkata: Senior cabinet ministers in the state on Thursday sharply reacted to the Centre's privatisation move in which various public sector units are being handed over to private companies.
The ruling party in the state moved a motion in the Assembly, protesting against the decision taken by the Centre. The leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Abdul Mannan and CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty also supported the move and echoed the voice of the government on the Centre's stand.
State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said that as many as 26 PSUs have been liquidated by the Narendra Modi government in the last five years. Many others will either be liquidated or shut down by the Centre in the course of time.
"What Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on privatisation is a dangerous trend. He said the government's job is to run the government and it will not do business. Selling out PSU units is an attempt by the Centre to hide their failure. There have been attempts to sell out Navratna and Miniratna companies as well," Chattopadhyay said.
He also criticised the decision taken by the Vice-Chairman of Niti Aayog on the issue of privatisation. Foreign investments are being encouraged at the cost of state public sector units.
He also criticised the Centre for changing the labour law, thereby infringing upon the rights of the workers. The workers have been denied bonus and gratuity. Even the right to strike for the workers has been withdrawn.
Speaking on the issue, Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said in the Assembly that various Centre owned units are being sold at a lower price and unemployment is gradually going up in the country. He also said that the matter would be discussed with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"The Centre had promised to bring back black money from foreign banks. But in reality the Centre is selling out its profitable units. There have even been attempts to hurt the sentiments of people in Bengal. The rail budget for Bengal has been slashed down drastically. They are also trying to financially bankrupt the state," Partha Chatterjee said.
The state government would urge the Centre to dissuade from selling out the profitable units after the motion taken up by both the ruling party and the oppositions gets passed in the Assembly.