P Chidambaram said that the assets that the government plans to monetize are yielding revenue.
The Congress today fired yet another salvo on the Modi government over the National Monetisation Pipeline plan announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Former finance minister and Congress Rajya Sabha MP P Chidambaram today termed the move as ‘scandalous’ comparing with ‘daylight robbery’.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Chidambaram said that the assets that the government plans to monetize are yielding revenue. “Assets are giving a current revenue. FM says -I’ll get Rs 1.5 Lakh crore. But she should also say what’s the current revenue. Suppose for the sake of argument, current revenue is Rs 1.6 Lakh crore and if she’ll privatise it, the government will only get Rs 1.5 Lakh crore. Assume the current revenue is Rs 1.3 Lakh crore, then she’s only getting an additional Rs 20,000 crore. For the sake of Rs 20,000 crore, you’ll sell all that has been built over 70 years? This is scandalous. This is daylight robbery,” said Chidambaram.
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has also accused the Modi government of mishandling the economy and giving away the country’s assets built over the last 70 years to his select few friends. “We see the finance minister talking about monetisation, where your assets, the assets of this country are basically being given away at cut-rate prices again to 3-4 of the Prime Minister’s favourite people,” Rahul Gandhi had said.
Rahul had alleged that the transfer of wealth is taking place in India from the poor & weak to the PM’s friends. “I wanted the young people of this country to think about this. This is about your future, you have to ask the question. Who this money is going to?” he said.
Reacting to NMP, Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal clarified that the government owns a large number of assets. “If the government can monetize them and raise resources so that we can invest in new infrastructure or provide support to vulnerable sections of economy or society, then what is wrong with that?” said Sanyal.
Sanyal said that while the political argument over the move may continue, making any meaningful economic argument against the efficient use of resources is not possible.