People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 18, 2007
POWER PSUS DISINVESTMENT
CITU Decries FM’s Hidden Agenda Of Creeping Privatisation
THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly opposes the government decision to disinvest shares in three Power PSUs viz. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Power Grid Corporation Ltd. (PGCL) under the cover of IPO and in the name of investment in social sector and sick PSUs. CITU points out that CPSUs have as on date investible reserve and surplus of more than Rs. three lakh crores and the utilisation of this fund has been around 30 to 35 per cent during last few years, thus giving space to private sector for investment which has been mostly funded by the nationalised banks and FIs i.e, the debt market. Government must explain as to why investible reserve and surplus of more than 3 lakh crores cannot be treated as investment fund. PSUs like REC, which has high equity (debt equity ratio of 1:2), can easily approach debt market for funds instead of going through IPO route. CITU charges that the whole exercise is to fulfill the agenda of “creeping privatisation”, as outright privatisation is not possible because of opposition of Left parties. CITU reiterates mobilisation of resources for social schemes through one time sale of share under any pretext is bad economics and poor fund management when a meager amount of Rs. 1500 crores is proposed to be raised through sale of shares of these 3 PSUs without adequate utilisation of huge investible surplus and funds available in banks. Obviously the Finance Minister has some agenda other than resource mobilisation. CITU rejects this agenda of back door creeping privatisation and vows to oppose the same tooth and nail.
CITU appeals the entire trade union movement to voice strong protest against the suicidal move of the government and calls upon the working class to organise serious protest action to compel the government to stop the disinvestment at any cost. (INN)