Anti-Privatisation and Anti-Corporatisation Day on March 15, 2021: SKM

The decision has come in the light of many public sector enterprises in the organised sector being handed over to private companies and those small private enterprises being corporatised for the benefit of big capital.

Image courtesy: Economic Times

Samyukt Kisan Morcha calls upon all citizens of India to observe March 15, 2021 as “Anti-Privatisation and Anti-Corporatisation Day” all over India. 

This decision of SKM comes in the light of many public sector enterprises in the organised sector being handed over to private companies and those small private enterprises being corporatised for the benefit of big capital. It is to resist these policy moves that SKM is joining hands with trade unions and others to mark March 15, 2021 as anti-privatisation, anti-corporatisation day.

On this day,  SKM has given a call to organise protest programs all over India and to submit memorandum to District Collectors/Deputy Commissioners/Sub Divisional Officers to highlight the rising prices of diesel, petrol and LPG cylinders, to be sent to the Prime Minister of India. On the same day, various trade unions of India are holding protests at railway stations all over India. It has been decided that these protests will be jointly organised by workers, employees, farmers and toiling people of India. SKM has appealed to everyone in the country to join these protests. 

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Privatisation and corporatisation of public enterprises is seen to have escalated during the Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party government at the centre. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management under the Ministry of Finance  has released a new memorandum outlining a ‘New Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) Policy under the Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

The memorandum, dated February 4 plainly lays out the plan of the government to privatize or disinvest from key public assets and enterprises, and sell them at such a rate so as to be able to raise at least 1.75 Lakh Crore Rupees in the year 2021-22 itself. This was stated in the Budget 2021 too.

The memorandum divides all of the Public Sector Enterprises into two parts: Strategic Sector and Non-Strategic Sector. It says that all ‘those in the Non-Strategic Sector will be considered for privatization, wherever feasible, or otherwise they will be considered for closure’. The government however does not stop there, and also says that it wants ‘bare minimum presence’ in strategic sectors. It says that ‘the remaining will be considered for privatization, merger, subsidarisation or closure’. The sectors which are considered Strategic are Atomic Energy, Space & Defense, Transport & Telecommunication, Power, Petroleum & Coal, and Banking & Insurance.

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This memorandum is part of a larger policy of the Narendra Modi Government, which seeks to bring ‘structural reforms’ in the economy by selling off public assets to a few corporates. The depth of the changes that they are seeking, to which this memorandum is a step ahead, needs to be understood.  

This memorandum is just one example that shows us the privatisation agenda of the Modi government. 

Below is the memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister of India by the SKM,

To: 

The Prime Minister of India.

Sub: Rising diesel/petrol/LPG prices – Repeal of Anti-Farmer Laws and Ensuring Legal Guarantee of MSP

Sir,

On the call of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, we the people of India are holding protests at our district and sub-divisional headquarters against the the increasing prices of the diesel, petrol and LPG as well as to demand the repeal of 3 anti-farmer Central laws, and to enact a legislation to guarantee remunerative MSP for all farmers. 

We demand that the policy moves to privatise public sector enterprises and to corporatise Indian agriculture be stopped, and that the prices of diesel/petrol/cooking gas be reduced immediately.

Sincerely,

Samyukt Kisan Morcha and other organisations 

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