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Updated: November 6, 2009 16:23 IST

Left demands reversal of Govt’s decision to divest PSU stakes

PTI
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Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, seen with from right to left, Finance Secretary, Ashok Chawla, Disinvestment Secretary, Rahul Khullar and Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Arvind Virmani , after he resumed charge at his ofiice , in New Delhi on May 25, 2009. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.
The Hndu Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, seen with from right to left, Finance Secretary, Ashok Chawla, Disinvestment Secretary, Rahul Khullar and Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Arvind Virmani , after he resumed charge at his ofiice , in New Delhi on May 25, 2009. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.

Left parties today demanded cancellation of the government’s decision to divest up to 10 per cent of its shares in profitable public sector units, calling it a “patently anti-national step“.

“(With this) the Congress-led government has laid out a road map for the privatisation of the public sector units as it will require only a small step to bring down the government stake to a minority, that is below 50 per cent,” the four Left parties in a joint statement.

Calling the government’s plea that the funds received out of disinvestment would be used for social sector programmes an “eyewash”, the CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc said it had gone back on previous commitments of not divesting ‘Navaratna’ companies.

They said the government was undertaking this measure under the “fraudulent pretext” of ensuring ‘people’s participation’ in the public sector. Further, the government has “committed not to utilise the corpus accruing through the sale of shares in the National Investment Fund, only the interest on the funds were to be utilised.”

“Now with a sleight of hand this has been suspended for three years so that the proceeds from disinvestment can be utilised for meeting the fiscal deficit. The plea that this fund will be utilised for social sector programmes is an eyewash,” the four parties said.

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