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Asset monetisation plan: Rahul Gandhi says govt selling India's 'crown jewels', BJP hits back

Asset monetisation plan: Rahul Gandhi says govt selling India's 'crown jewels', BJP hits back

Asset monetisation plan: Rahul Gandhi says govt selling India's 'crown jewels', BJP hits back
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By CNBCTV18.com Aug 24, 2021 8:33:05 PM IST (Updated)

Rahul Gandhi slammed the government's asset monetisation plan saying the Modi dispensation is in the process of selling India's "crown jewels." The BJP was quick to react saying, the Congress leader is upset India would make Rs 6 lakh crore.

A day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on August 24 took a swipe at the government saying the Modi dispensation is in the process of selling India's "crown jewels" built by previous governments with public money over 70 years.

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“The BJP has claimed that nothing happened in India for 70 years, but now all assets created in all these years are being sold,” Gandhi said at a press briefing in Delhi. He was accompanied by former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Gandhi’s remarks come against the backdrop of the government’s latest monetisation plan aimed at unlocking value in infrastructure assets across sectors ranging from power to road and railways.
However, the Congress leader has alleged the privatisation plan intends to create monopolies in key sectors which will kill jobs. He added that the government was indulging in the creation of monopolies in the formal sector and the elimination of the informal sector.
The ruling BJP was quick to respond to the Congress’ allegations, saying, Gandhi is "upset" that India will make Rs 6 lakh crore. Union Minister Smriti Irani said the Congress leader was trying to tarnish the Centre's image for working to fill state coffers transparently while keeping them secure from the "robbers" of the opposition party.
Meanwhile, Chidambaram claimed raising funds cannot be the sole aim for selling assets built over 70 years. He said that all stakeholders, including employees, worker unions, farmers, must be consulted before embarking on such a large sale of assets.
According to the plan announced by Sitharaman, as many as 25 Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports, including ones at Chennai, Bhopal, Varanasi and Vadodara, and 40 railway stations, 15 railway stadiums and an unidentified number of railway colonies have been identified for getting private investments.
The Union Budget 2021-22 had identified the monetisation of operating public infrastructure assets as a key means for sustainable infrastructure financing.
NMP estimates an aggregate monetisation potential of Rs 6 lakh crores through core assets of the Central government over the four-year period from FY 2022 to FY 2025. Ownership of assets will remain with the government.
(With PTI inputs)
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