(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 20, 2010
Disinvestment in Coal India
THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions strongly condemned the decision of disinvestment of 10 per cent shares in Coal India Ltd and Hindustan Copper Limited taken by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs of the UPA government on June 15, 2010.
In a statement issued on June 16, the CITU stated that such disinvestment was a ploy of the government to set in motion the process of phased privatisation of the blue chip PSUs, which are all reserves of the vital natural resources of the country. “All natural resources are owned by the country and the people. The UPA government has themselves averred this before the Supreme Court very recently. Therefore, handing over the control of such natural resources either wholly or even partially to private entities is totally unconstitutional”, asserted the CITU.
“The UPA-II government appears to be in extreme haste to quicken up this process of sell-out of public assets and that hurry makes the government resort to a distress-sale. The PSUs disinvested so far by the UPA-II combine are being sold at a price much lower than the share price of the respective PSU prevailing in the stock market during the day/period of sale. If this is not selling public assets for a song on a platter – then what else is?
“The major partner of the UPA-II combine, the Trinamool Congress chief has reportedly justified her silent approval to this disinvestment commenting that since central trade unions like CITU and INTUC are not opposing disinvestment of Coal India Ltd, why she should oppose the same, as per a report published in the media (Anandabazar Patrika, 16-6-2010). This is nothing but opportunism and hypocrisy and shows total disregard to factual truth for political expediency.
“The entire country knows that all the central trade unions and independent federations in the country, including CITU and INTUC, recorded their strong opposition to disinvestment in PSUs and have been planning for countrywide strike action in the days to come on a five-point demand which includes opposition to disinvestment as well. The Coal India workers have already recorded their strong opposition to the disinvestment move through massive countrywide strike in the industry on May 5, 2010 at the call of All India Coal Workers’ Federation (CITU) and have now been preparing for a bigger and a longer strike in the event the government moves ahead for disinvestment” stated the CITU.
It called upon the working class irrespective of affiliations and all the patriotic people to oppose and resist the disastrous anti-national move by the government of the day to sell out public assets for a song to private entities through countrywide mobilisations and united actions.