People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIV

No. 14

April 04, 2010

FIGHTING DISINVESTMENT

 

CITU Hails BSNL, Coal India Strike Calls

 

THROUGH a statement issued from New Delhi on March 29, the secretariat of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions has hailed the decision of all the trade unions, irrespective of affiliations, in the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Coal India Limited (CIL) to give a strike call against disinvestment. To the CITU, this is a fitting response of the major stakeholders, i.e. the workers, to a unilateral policy decision of the government that is bent upon diluting or even altogether liquidating the state ownership of public assets at the behest of coterie of World Bank-IMF pensioners who are masquerading as the self-styled reformers of Indian economy.

The decision of more than two lakh BSNL employees to go on indefinite strike from April 20, 2010 and of eight lakh coal workers (including contract workers) to launch a three-day strike action from May 5, 2010 --- which may continue indefinitely unless the government rolls back its decision to disinvest in these public sector units --- is a stern warning to the government that the working class will resolutely fight back the retrograde policy of selling public assets on the spurious plea of resources mobilisation. The CITU has described the government’s plea of resource mobilisation as hollow in the light of the benevolent tax exemptions the government has given of more than Rs five lakh crore in 2009-10. The government has thus foregone revenue almost totally in favour of big business, domestic and foreign.

The CITU has reminded that the various successive governments, be it the Congress government of 1991-96 or the NDA government of 1998-2004, had had to meet their political waterloo for having treaded the path of disinvestment or privatization. As a matter of fact, the people of the country rejected their philosophy of selling the public assets in the share market to meet the revenue expenditure of the government. The CITU has therefore urged the government to refrain from its decision to disinvest the shares of PSUs in its own interest as well as in the interest of the people of this country. (INN)