(Adopted by the 23rd Congress on April 9, 2022)
Oppose the National Monetisation Pipeline
The BJP government led by Modi has unveiled a four-year National (Asset) Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) aiming to garner Rs 6 lakh crore. The NMP is aimed at handing over huge functional infrastructural assets of the country to private corporate companies and big business houses, including foreign MNCs. The corporate cronies of the BJP government will be allowed to mint huge money utilising the assets built with people’s money and labour. In the same line many BJP led state governments are also started the exercise of gifting the state owned assets and land to private corporate.
Privatisation at any cost and by any means has become the hallmark of this government. It is now seeking to hand over the huge state-owned infrastructural assets for upfront payment for future expected income. That is the sinister design of this so called NMP, which is going to handover the right of operating these huge infrastructural assets for a period of 30-35 years to the monopolies. This would adversely impact the entire economy availing these infrastructural services. It will result in further worsening of the already alarming situation of job losses and unemployment.
Infrastructural assets identified for monetisation include 400 railway stations, 90 passenger trains, 1400 km railway track, 741 km Konkan Railway, 15 railway stadiums and selected railway colonies, 265 railway goods sheds and 4 hill railways –all for a mere Rs 1.5 lakh crore; 25 Airports fully modernised with huge investment out of the public exchequer for only Rs 20,782 crore; 160 coal mining assets with huge coal reserves—for only Rs 28,747 crore; 3930 km long petroleum pipe line—for a paltry Rs 22503 crore; 31 projects in 9 major ports with huge network of navigable waterways –all for Rs 12,828 crore; Warehouses of Food Corporation of India and Central Warehousing Corporation of total storage capacity of 210 lakh MT –for only Rs 28,900 crore—these are few more examples of day-light robbery of the national exchequer in the name of “Asset Monetisation”. Also 28,608 circuit kilometres electricity grid under Power Grid Corporation of India and around 30,000 kilometres of highways are also being handed over to private corporate for long-term with monopoly operational rights. Along with the NMP, government has now come out with a land monetisation programme and a public sector company titled ‘National Land Monetisation Corporation’ has been set up to facilitate selling away huge land assets of PSUs, railways, defence sector, BSNL, etc., for a pittance. And this is not all – the NMP project envisages further flow of more infrastructural assets through that pipeline to private corporates giving them long-term monopoly rights.
The BJP, with its historical opposition to the public sector and to self-reliant development of the national economy based upon it, is resorting to privatisation of the entire public sector covering infrastructure, industries and public utility services, by any means and at very low prices. It is completely unconcerned about the destructive impact of these measures on the national economy and our people. In the thirty-odd years of neoliberal policy regimes, the BJP led regimes account for the overwhelming share of disinvestment of public sector enterprises.
The task before the Party and the entire working class movement is to develop decisive and determined struggles against the loot and handing over of people’s assets to big business, domestic and foreign, in the name of “monetisation” of assets.
The BJP-led Union government claims that the NMP involves only a lease of assets, not their sale. This is a patently misleading claim. The big business entities that make use of the assets leased to them will, through fleecing their customers and other means, make huge gains worth several times the paltry lease amounts they pay to the government. There is no guarantee that the assets will be returned to/taken back by the government at the end of the lease period in the same conditions as at the time of lease. The entire exercise begs the simple question of why the assets cannot be operated by the government to benefit the people.
The 23rd Congress of the CPI(M) calls upon the people of our country to mobilise and build resistance to the Union government’s anti-national and anti-people project of “National Asset Monetisation Pipeline”. The 23rd Congress declares that this anti-national design of loot on national assets shall not pass.