Gurumurthy Backs Anti-selloff Trio

Mumbai, October 25: | Updated: Oct 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Union ministers who are opposing the privatisation of state-run oil companies -petroleum minister Ram Naik, HRDs Murli Manohar Joshi and defence minister George Fernandes - on Friday received a tacit support from the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a Sangh Parivar affiliate, for their opposition to the mode of disinvestment of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation It demanded that the management of HPCL and BPCL be handed over to IndianOil in the larger interest of national security.

However, Swadeshi Jagran Manch convenor S Gurumurthy said it is not against the BJP-led governments divestment policies in general but to certain mode of selloff.

The divestment policies carried out since 1991 has been actually the sell out of the state run companies and that too the profit making ones.

Our demand is that even the loss-making undertakings be covered under the divestment programme, he said.

According to Mr Gurumurthy, the ongoing debate is a welcome sign to ultimately make the privatisation process more purposeful and efficient in future.

The Centre should set up a divestment commission comprising Central public sector units as well as state undertakings also. Further, Public Sector Units be brought out of the purview of Prevention of Corruption Act and the CBI, he said.

Mr Gurumurthy said the SJM and the Swadeshi Jagran Foundation have been of the consistent view that the country should emerge as the global power. He said a Swadeshi Mela is being organised between January 30-February 4, in Mumbai exclusively for products of Swadeshi industries and services.

The mela is an excellent vehicle to arouse and propagate swadeshi feeling among the various sections of the society, the SJM leader said.