The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) deplores the Union Cabinet's decision to constitute the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. This announcement is the latest in a series of measures in pursuance of the government's decision to corporatise and privatise telecom services in the country. Corporatisation and eventual privatisation is being undertaken, ignoring the strong objections from various political parties, trade unions and even the government's own Defence ministry. It is obvious that the move is being pushed through at the behest of the IMF and the WTO who have been insisting on privatisation of this vital sector. Apart from endangering national security, privatisation of telecom services will burden the customers with higher costs and result in cut in jobs in this sector.
Coming soon after the decision to privatise long-distance telephone operations, this announcement will further jeorpardise the expansion of telephone services in rural and remote areas.
The announcement has been made on the eve of Prime Minister Vajpayee's visit to the United States. The timing of the Cabinet decision leaves no doubt that it has been taken in haste to please the United States. The Vajpayee government has once again displayed its utter disregard of the country's vital interests.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the moves to corporatise and privatise the telecom services. It calls upon all democratic sections to protest against this decision.