New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the Centre's move to monetise its assets across key sectors, saying the Narendra Modi dispensation is in the process of selling India's "crown jewels" built by previous governments with public money over 70 years.
Addressing a press conference here with former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, he said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed that nothing happened in India for 70 years, but now all assets created in all these years are being sold.
Gandhi alleged that the Narendra Modi government's privatisation plan was aimed at creating monopolies in key sectors which will kill jobs.
He alleged that the government was indulging in creation of monopolies in the formal sector and elimination of the informal sector.
Chidambaram said that raising funds cannot be the sole aim for selling assets built over 70 years.
The former Union minister felt that all stakeholders, including employees, worker unions, farmers, must be consulted before embarking on such large sale of assets.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday unveiled an ambitious Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) that included unlocking value by involving private companies across infrastructure sectors -- from passenger trains and railway stations to airports, roads and stadiums.
As many as 25 Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports, including ones at Chennai, Bhopal, Varanasi and Vadodara, as well as 40 railway stations, 15 railway stadiums and an unidentified number of railway colonies have been identified for getting private investments.
Loot of National Assets: CPI(M)
The CPI(M) on Tuesday alleged that the Centre with its decision to monetise its assets across key sectors has "officially" announced the "sale of India".
"The central government has officially announced the sale of India. The National Monetisation Pipeline released by the finance minister yesterday details the loot of our national assets and infrastructure. This is an outright plunder of people's wealth?" the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said in a statement.
The Left party also alleged that this was like "selling family silver" to meet daily expenditure of the country which "makes neither economic nor common sense".
"Selling assets for a song when the markets are low benefits only crony corporates and promotes crony capitalism. The politburo of the CPI(M) calls upon the people of India to protest against and resist this loot of our national assets," it said.