The Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Centre’s National Monetisation Pipeline announced on Monday.
He said the move was aimed to help “2-3 private players” and also countered the BJP’s favoured allegation that there had been no development in India under Congress.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government over the monetization plan, Gandhi said “only a few businesses will be left” as a result of it and that employment opportunities would decline.
“I want to tell the youth what the country is selling and which asset is going to whom,” the Congress General Secretary said, listing out the various infrastructure areas that will be monetised according to him.
“This is being sold 2 to 3 private players…I spoke on Corona all of you laughed and you saw, and I am saying this that this will have a huge impact on the future of this country,” he said.
The R 6 lakh crore monetization plan was unveiled on Monday by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman aimed at “unlocking value” by involving private companies across infrastructure sectors.
Up to 25 airports, 40 railway stations, and 15 railway stadiums, among other installations, have been identified to get private investments.
Citing examples like assets in “railways, Rs 1.5 lakh crore”, Mr Gandhi warned the sector’s employees about what such a move potentially means for them.
Similarly, he emphasized “warehousing, Rs 29,000 crore”, and added, “You know who it is going to…You all know who is getting ports and airports. It is going to one company.”
The Congress leader has often attacked PM Modi over his alleged closeness to business conglomerates, zeroing in on the likes of the Adani group and the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries.
His “suit-boot ki sarkar” jibe is believed to have often rankled the BJP in the past.
Referring to the monetization plan itself, senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said there had been no criteria or goals for such a big exercise.
“Have they consulted stakeholders, the unions, etc? All this was hatched in NITI Ayog. Can this be the sole goal, to get money through rent? To get 1.5 lakh crore?” he asked.
“This is a grand closing down sale. Virtually, there won’t be any public sector undertakings left after the proposed ‘roads-to-railways’ monetization plan of the BJP government,” he said.