The Congress on Friday continued its attacks on the government over the issue of privatisation, and later staged walk-out in Lok Sabha, with party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleging that profit-making Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) are being sold away to “please some pampered corporate houses in the country”.
Chowdhury raised the issue soon after Speaker Om Birla announced that there would be no Zero Hour as the House was discussing the issues of air pollution and climate change.
The Congress leader insisted that he be given time to raise a few points. “This is the time of Zero hour and you are encroaching upon it,” he said.
At this point, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told Chowdhury that his issues can be taken up after Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar’s response of the issue of air pollution.
However Chowdhury insisted that he be not be deprived of the opportunity to raise the matter of privatisation.
Minister of State Babul Supriyo also said that members from West Bengal wanted to raise some issues, and asked that they be allowed to do the same.
Thereafter, the Speaker allowed Chowdhury and BJP MP from Hooghly, Locket Chatterjee, to raise their respective issues.
Raising the issue of privatisation, Chowdhury said, “Government of India has been pursuing the path under the template ‘One nation, one intention and go for privatisation’. you will be astonished to note that this Government is on a selling spree. The profit-making PSUs are being sold away only to please some pampered corporate houses in our country.”
“The government has been resorting to the selling of government PSU stakes only to fund the exchequer, much to the disservice of our economy,” he said.
Referring the case of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), Chowdhury said, “The importance of HPCL has been derogated by this government. The government is trying to evade even Parliament scrutiny.
“In 2003, the Supreme Court of India made it clear in the context of BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) and HPCL that they cannot be disinvested without the concurrence of the Parliament,” he said.
After making a brief speech, which was marred by interruptions, Choudhary walked out of the House, followed by other Congress leaders.
On Thursday too, Chowdhury had raised the issue of privatisation of PSUs, saying, “This is a big scam. The country is being looted. Please allow us to speak.”
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