New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the government for selling out public sector assets and said he was selling the “jewels in the crown” of India, even as he clarified that the Congress is not against privatisation.
Addressing a press conference a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the National Monetisation Pipeline, Rahul Gandhi said this can eventually lead to a situation similar to when East India Company came to India.
“There’s a list of assets Congress has helped build. The PM is in the process of selling the crown jewels of this country,” Rahul Gandhi said at a press conference.
“They are selling away all we built. Every patriotic person should oppose this,” Rahul Gandhi said.
He stressed Congress is not against privatisation.
“We are not against privatisation… we believe there should be a policy for privatisation. First point is that strategic assets should not be sold,” he said.
The former Congress president added that all assets will be sold to “a few corporates”, adding that it will lead to a rise in unemployment in future.
“The whole idea is to create a monopoly of 3-4 businessmen. Young people in India will not be able to find jobs in future. This will ensure our entire industrial structure will be controlled by 3-4 people,” Rahul Gandhi said.
He compared the situation to the time when the East India Company took over India.
“We have dealt with a monopoly that was the East India Company. This is what is happening now; we are heading towards enslavement,” he said.
Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram called it the “grand closing down sale”.
“Virtually no public sector will be left after this exercise,” Chidambaram said.
He also said consultations have not been held with any stakeholders before undertaking the exercise.
Rahul Gandhi warned workers and the youth that the National Monetisation Plan will kill jobs by creating monopoly.
Referring to the monetisation plan, senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said there had been no criteria or goals for such a big exercise.
“Have they consulted stakeholders, the unions, etc? All this was hatched in NITI Ayog. Can this be the sole goal, to get money through rent? To get 1.5 lakh crore?” he asked.
Upto 25 airports, 40 railway stations, and 15 railway stadiums, among other installations, have been identified to get private investments in the Rs. 6 lakh crore monetisation plan announced by the Finance Minister.