Letter Written To The Prime Minister on Disinvestment of BHEL
Shri Manmohan Singh
Government of India, New Delhi
Dear Shri Manmohan Singhji,
We learn from media reports that the Central government is going ahead with the sale of 10 per cent of its stake in the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). To refresh your memory, we are quoting one such report: “The Union government has decided to go ahead with its proposed stake sale in Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd despite opposition from its Left allies. The government has invited bids from global investment banks to manage the public offering. The investment banks are expected to submit their bids by July 11, according to an advertisement posted on the website of the Department of Disinvestment.” (Business Line, June 17, 2005)
The Left Parties had opposed this decision. We consider this decision contravenes the understanding contained in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). The CMP has categorically stated that profit-making public sector undertakings, particularly the `navaratnas’ will not be privatised. The CMP has permitted these companies to access the capital market to raise funds for their consolidation and expansion plans. In the case of the BHEL, it is not the undertaking’s management that has decided to divest shares but it is the government which has taken this decision. This, we think, directly violates the CMP. Hence, our opposition to this decision.
You are aware that the Left Parties have sought an early meeting of the UPA, government and the Left Coordination Committee to discuss this issue. May we request you not to proceed till this meeting discusses this matter.
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) D. Raja (CPI)
Abani Roy (RSP) Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc)