Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

CPI(M) Condemns Air India Privatisation

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) condemns the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment to offload 60 per cent of the equity to private sector making government of India a minority shareholder in the premier public sector national flag carrier all over the world. The decision to disinvest 40 per cent of the shareholding to strategic buyer is only a device to permit 26 per cent of the share holdings to be permitted to be sold to foreign investors.

The BJP-led government has torn asunder its own claim of Swadeshi by doggedly pursuing the policy of privatisation despite opposition all over India by public opinion. What is shocking is that the decision of BJP-led government was taken eventhough the Minister of Civil Aviation was opposing it openly which shows the level of commitment given by BJP-led government to IMF and the World Bank.

The government’s claim that majority of the shareholding would be in the hands of Indians will not hold good since with 26 per cent investment, the foreign companies will be able to effectively control the strategic partner and through it the entire Air India.

The selling of 10 per cent of shares to employees is only a ploy to soften the opposition of the employers. The shares may ultimately pass on in the hands of private sector as experienced in other cases in public sector.

The decision of the BJP-led government will ultimately seeks to hand over all key sectors of Indian economy to the MNCs. It will, in the long run, result in complete privatisation of Air India and ensuring full control of the MNCs on this premier public sector in India. The privatisation of Indian Airlines will become now a top priority before the Government of India.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) urges upon the working class and the people of India to resist this dangerous and anti-national move of the government of India so that these policies are resolutely opposed throughout the country. Otherwise, the economic and political sovereignty of the country itself will be in danger aggravating the sufferings of the Indian people.