United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday raised in the Lok Sabha the issue of corporatisation of railway’s Modern Coach Factory in her Rae Bareli constituency and accused the government of selling the country’s assets to private players at a throwaway price.
This was a rare instance when Gandhi raised an issue during the Zero Hour.
She said the government has decided to corporatise six railway production units and the Modern Coach Factory is one of them.
“Those who don’t understand the real meaning of corporatisation….It is actually the first step towards privatisation. They are selling the country’s assets to handful private players at a throwaway price. This will leave thousands unemployed,” she said.
Gandhi is the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party.
Although Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury leads the party in the Lok Sabha, Gandhi is alway seen as the guiding force for the Congress in the House.
On Tuesday, she was the first one to speak during the Zero Hour. As she rose from her seat, the entire opposition was seen thumping desks.
Taking a dig at the government, she said the unit was started during the UPA regime to promote “Make in India”, an initiative of the Modi government.
The MCF is the most modern factory of the Indian Railways and manufactures best coaches at cheapest rates, she asserted.
“The government has invested heavily in it (MCF). It is difficult to understand why the government wants to resort to corporatisation,” she said.
She said the future of 2000 workers remains uncertain due to the government’s move.The primary job of the PSU is welfare of the people and not to benefit capitalists, she said.
Gandhi also slammed the government for stopping the practise of having a separate railway budget.
“Can we not expect parliamentary scrutiny for such types of decisions,” she said.
She also highlighted the condition of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.
“Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had termed Public Sector Undertakings as temples of modern India. Today, it is sad to see that these temples are under threat,” she said.
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