Monetisation programme

Monetisation, a recent step by the Government, aims at the dilution of public sector units. Each of the units is on sale. In last seven decades, these industrial units were founded to develop the country’s infrastructure, to cater to the basic needs to evolve economy. With public money, the basics of industrial development were built. The tax money of the vast masses was spent to build roads, improve power sector, energy sector, health services, education, airports, railways, and many such initiatives.
The selling of these basics means fragmentation of the economy itself. It does not stop there. With each sale, the Government intends to usurp the entire revenue also. The assets, built up in decades, with public contributions of the hard earned money, are transformed into cash. Each of them is sold to private buyers, at prices that do not match, nor is there any guarantee for further investment. Its present and future, both have been privatised, in the name of giving them on lease, for 30 to 50 years.
In a situation when the split between investment and financialisation is getting deeper as the power begins shifting through monetisation, there could be only few corporate groups with access to bank loans, to bid for the sell out of airports, coal mines, power generation projects with long term lease. This may lead to concentration of wealth in few hands. The role of Government in this lease period could be only negligible.
Thus the public sector assets could get concentrated in few hands that could even monopolise them at the end. With role of the Government getting feeble, the question of its stability too arises. There must not arise a situation when the future Governments could take advantage from precedence. Hence in the struggle to reign in the devastating process, of which selling out is only the beginning, there has to be a consensus from all parties, including opposition and the trade unions to forge unity. In fact there is no alternative to it.
Krishna Jha
on e-mail