Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera on Thursday hit out at the Narendra Modi government over its recently-announced asset monetisation plan, saying that the BJP was selling what the Congress created in 70 years, and if the Centre was not stopped, an entire generation would get destroyed.
He said the BJP government has announced a ”clearance sale” of the assets as the country was not important for it. Addressing a press conference at the Gujarat Congress headquarters here, Khera said the Centre’s plan to sell or lease out public infrastructure would only create a monopoly in key sectors, something that the previous Congress-led governments always avoided.
”If we do not stop them now, an entire generation will be destroyed. Before coming to power in 2014, BJP used to ask what Congress did during the last 70 years. The answer is the list of assets which you are now selling. While we built India in those 70 years, BJP is now busy selling India,” he alleged. ”There is a difference between the previous Congress governments and the BJP dispensation. A sensible government always takes care that strategic sectors do not slip into the hands of a few. No sensible government encourages monopoly. ”But, for the BJP government, the country is not important. They just think about votes and making BJP the world’s richest party,” he said. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently unveiled an ambitious Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) that included unlocking value by involving private companies across infrastructure sectors – from passenger trains and railway stations to airports, roads and stadiums. As many as 25 Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports, 40 railway stations, 15 railway stadiums and an unidentified number of railway colonies have been identified for getting private investments.
Khera said that Congress leaders will tour the entire country against the Centre’s monetisation plan and spread awareness among the masses about its drawbacks.
”The government has announced a clearance sale of the country’s assets and they are now claiming that they are giving these assets on lease. Those who buy will take loans from banks. That means our assets will be purchased using our own money and then they will return those assets back after extracting everything,” he added. People as well as the media need to raise their voice if they want to stop the country from getting sold, he urged.
Without taking names, Khera said the scheme will only fill up the pockets of selected industrialists who are an example of BJP’s ”crony capitalism” system.
”Time has come to seek answers. Assets worth Rs 60 lakh crore are being given to a selected few for just Rs 6 lakh crore, which is also given to them by the BJP government,” said Khera.
He said that although the Modi government has so far earned Rs 23 lakh crore from the hike in fuel price, the money was not spent on any pro-people work.
On the issue of polarisation, the senior Congress leader accused the BJP of diverting the attention of people from key issues by raising communal points. He accused the BJP of creating ”faultlines” between communities for being in power.