The Congress on Tuesday described the government’s infrastructure monetisation plan as “legalised loot and organised plunder”, alleging that invaluable public assets created over decades are being handed over to a chosen few. The government is giving away assets worth crores made from the hard work of the people to its billionaire “friends”, the Congress further alleged.
“First came the demonetisation disaster, which Dr Manmohan Singh rightly described as ‘organised loot and legalised plunder’. Now comes monetisation mela ù invaluable public assets created over decades given away to a chosen few. This is legalised loot and organised plunder,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra alleged the government is giving the “jumla of Aatmanirbhar (rhetoric of self-reliance)” but has made the country dependent on its “billionaire friends”.
“While giving the ‘jumla’ of ‘Aatmanirbhar’, they have made the entire government dependent on ‘billionaire friends’. All the work for those billionaire friends and all the wealth also for them,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.
“This government is giving away assets worth lakhs of crores made from the hard work of the people of the country in the last 70 years to its billionaire friends,” the Congress general secretary added.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that under the BJP, the country’s assets will not be saved. “Sale of country’s properties worth Rs 6 lakh crore — roads, rail, mines, telecom, power, gas, airports, ports, sports stadium…Modi ji will sell everything from the earth to the sky. If there is BJP, the assets of the country will not be saved,” he said in a tweet in Hindi, using the hashtag “#StopSellingIndia”.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) on Monday 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 the 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.
Stating that there is no transfer of ownership or land, she said, “The NMP talks about brownfield infra assets where investments have already been made, where there is a completed asset which is either languishing or which is remaining not fully monetised or which is remaining underutilised.”