This position of the BJP sponsored Swadesi Jagran Manch has given boost to the January 8 strike action programme of the central trade unions which have focussed on the Government's efforts to garner funds by selling the precious public sector companies. The strike programme is getting tremendous response from the workers and the peasants also. The trade unions including AITUC and CITU have appealed to the BMS and the supporters of the ruling BJP to support this strike action as the demands serve their interests also.

The SJM, an economic think tank affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In a resolution passed at its national assembly in Haridwar, said the Modi government’s proposed strategic disinvestment of PSEs was an “imprudent business decision” and “against national interest”. “A white paper is needed on the previous disinvestment of HPCL, where ONGC acquired the equity. How has this benefited the operations of HPCL,” the SJM asked.

On the strategic sale in BPCL, it said there “are rumours that the Saudi Aramco is eyeing these assets.” “This is not only unacceptable but also dangerous. The asset created with the national sentiments and hard work shouldn’t land up in the lap of the foreign oil companies — who see these assets only as a statistic to swell their valuation,” it said.

On Sunday, outfits representing Dalit interests held a protest at the Ramlila Ground in the national capital to protest stake sale in PSEs. The Congress and Samajwadi Party supported the protest. The Congress has planned a protest at the same venue on December 14.

All central trade unions, barring RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), have announced an ‘all India strike’ on January 8. All leading opposition parties support the strike. Apart from disinvestment, the trade unions oppose the Industrial Relations Code, 2019 and the Bill to amend the MSME Act.

In its resolution, the SJM demanded that the Modi government junk the NITI Aayog’s report on PSEs. “The government has no business to be in business, but resist the plan to handover the national assets to corporate houses of multinational corporations (MNCs) at throw away prices,” SJM’s Ashwani Mahajan said.

According to SJM, the disinvestment of Air India and BPCL was “uncalled for”. “There is a need for fair assessment of the PSEs — their potential, strategic need, turnaround probability, market utility — and then the disinvestment strategy is required,” it said.

The SJM resolution further said a major chunk of the losses is because of the servicing of the debt. This debt is taken because of the bad decision making (with mala-fide intentions)... A developing country like, India needs the national carrier for strategic and market balancing requirements," it said. The SJM said Niti Aayog report is a handiwork of a "few consultants (who continue to work on game plan of vested interests)".

The SJM said the Modi government’s move regarding PSEs was the "result of cahoots of certain consultants, bureaucrats influenced by some business house”. The resolution passed by SJM said it is time to resist such moves and safeguard the “national assets”.

This stand of Sangh Parivar’s own outfit is sure to embarrass the Modi government as the ruling regime is very much depending on Niti Aayog’s officials for the success of disinvestment programme.(IPA Service)