Coming Soon! Dalit Angle To Disinvestment

New Delhi, October 2: | Updated: Oct 3 2002, 05:30am hrs
Is the die caste Even as Sangh parivar organisations marshalled forces to build a national coalition against the governments disinvestment strategy, the All India Confederation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Organisations has decided to link caste politics and disinvestment. The confederation will rally dalits to demand for the removal of disinvestment minister Arun Shourie on November 24, 2002, at the Ramlila grounds in Delhi.

Three Ministers Discuss Oil; Joshi Briefs Sudarshan
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New Delhi, October 2: Senior cabinet ministers Murli Manohar Joshi, George Fernandes, and Ram Naik met on Wednesday morning to discuss various aspects related to the disinvestment in government-owned oil PSUs.
The discussion was on how to broadbase the debate beyond the CCD (cabinet committee on disinvestment) platform. After all, nearly a month has passed on the three-month deadline (set in the September 7 CCD to clinch the issue), an aide told FE.
Udit Raj, president, of the confederation told FE, The disinvestment policy is a conspiracy to finish off the reservation policy for SC/STs. It is anti-dalit and is affecting the employment prospects of dalits. The disinvestment ministry should be wound up and Mr Shourie should resign. He hinted that there is a broader coalition at work here.

The public sector enterprise is a major source of employment for dalits, Mr Raj argued. If these entities are privatised, what will happen to the job opportunities of the dalits, which has been guaranteed by the Constitution, Mr Raj queried.

On who would attendgiven the obtuse interest disinvestment may be expected to evoke among dalitsMr Raj claimed that lakhs would participate. We believe in mobilising masses and once they (masses) agitate then the leaders and political parties automatically follow suit, he said. Refusing to take names, he went on to confess that a broader coalition with like minded organisations is being essayed. Sangh parivar organisations (FE of September 11) are involved in building a national coalition to take up cudgels with the government on disinvestment.

Mr Raj says the argument that disinvestment is a result of the liberalisation process is fake.Even after the governments policies to globalise and therefore privatise, Indias share in American investments is only $4 billion out of a total investment of $800 billion investments by Americans worldwide. Our share in international trade is half a per cent, he said, calling disinvestment as not an important requisite for attracting FDI (foreign direct investment).

Instead of banking on disinvestment policy to push the reform process and get greater FDI inflow, the government should concentrate on taxation policies and infrastructure development, Mr Raj said.