Modi led RSS-BJP Govt. has announced a plan to monetize govt. infrastructure assets like roads, railway stations, gas pipe lines, warehousing facilities. This lease is of the assets owned by the Govt. and public sector units. It involves handing over of these assets to private sector to operate on long term (25 years in this case) lease. The lease so given by the Govt. is expected to cover assets worth over 6 lakh crore rupees over the next three years i.e., remainder of the term of this govt. Govt. reportedly plans to garner Rs. 1.6 lakh crores from road, 1.52 crores from railway assets, 45.2 thousand crores from power transmission lines, 39.83 lakh crores from natural gas assets and 35.1 thousand crores from telecom projects. Govt. is claiming that it is not sale but only giving on rent. But this is a just a ploy to sell the assets at the value of 25 years’ rent and this too calculated by a govt. run for the corporate. These assets are gone ‘forever’ from the Govt. whatever claims Finance Minister is making for the use by corporate controlled media to hoodwink the people. After 25 years these assets will be ‘forced’ to continue them in private hands may be with payment by the govt. to improve their condition, giving more blows to the people. With these ruling classes, people can be sure to be looted and cheated repeatedly and remorselessly.
The scheme is one of the big swindles of the Modi Govt. who has been shamelessly selling the govt. assets to fill the coffers of corporate by robbing the people of the country. These assets were built from the sacrifices of the people and on the resources of the people for example land taken for developing infrastructure in the name of development.
This asset monetization plan shows the dire straits in which the economy has been brought under RSS-BJP rule. Demonetization, GST were some of the blows given to the economy which slowed down considerably. Govt. chose to borrow with increase in govt. debt reaching 90% of the GDP. With slowing growth and falling revenue collection, govt. fiscal deficit reached 9.4% of the GDP. It was not due to any expenditure on the people despite huge sufferings during pandemic or for the economy but to shower largesse to the corporate. One should banish the thought that PSUs will get this money to develop their operations or even improve their balance sheets which have gone into red primarily because of the Govt. robbing them. This money will be siphoned off by govt. through increased dividends or sale of shares etc. This Govt. has not shrunk from plundering even the Reserve Bank reserves!
More importantly the plan demonstrates how deeply this govt. is committed to serve the corporate come what may. Even with revenue collection falling, govt. went ahead with tax cuts for corporate, waived unconditionally retro tax and showered many facilities on the corporate under different heads. These corporate in turn are linked to foreign big capital which is using India to extract high profits. The two close corporate friends of RSS-BJP govt. – Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani – have attracted money from foreign firms for their closeness to this Govt. However, these are just some examples. Foreign money is pumped into a large number of Start-ups, another focus of attention of this Govt. The whole façade of self-reliance (Atmnirbharta) is to hide their servility to imperialist capital.
This govt. has enormously increased indirect taxes which burden the common people. It has specially targeted petroleum products for this extraction (reaching two third of the prices of diesel and petrol). In fact, govt. tax and non-tax revenues are expected to reach nearly one fourth of the GDP (22.7%). Bulk of tax collections being indirect taxes extracted from the people and bulk of non-tax revenues are swindling and sale of Public Sector and Govt. assets.
The speed and shamelessness with which this Govt. is handing over the country to foreign corporate and their friendly domestic corporate is yet another demonstration of the correctness of the firm resolve with which the peasants of India are fighting against the three Agri Acts designed to hand over complete control over agriculture to foreign corporate and their Indian compradors.
The open and wholesale selling of PSUs is being rightly resisted by the workers and the people as in case of Visakha Steel Plant. Govt. is betraying the people whose lands were acquired under the name of development and now being handed over to corporate under one pretext or another.
These Monetization of Govt. & PSU assets must be resisted with full force. Workers and people of all sections must come forward to fight against this fascist Govt. out to sell the country while keeping people divided on communal lines.
CPI(ML)- New Democracy
August 25, 2021