Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday lashed out at the Centre's National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) terming it as a "huge tragedy" saying that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government had mishandled the economy and the move was aimed at creating monopolies in certain sectors.
Addressing a press conference here, Gandhi said, "What this country has built over the last 70 years, is being given away. There is an excuse they have come up with that we are leasing these...The government clearly mishandled the economy and doesn't know what to do."
"The BJP and PM Modi say nothing happened in the last 70 years. But yesterday, the finance minister decided to sell the assets that have been built over the last 70 years. They (Government) have basically destroyed what the UPA built and now as a last resort, they are selling everything that we had helped create. To me, this is a huge tragedy," he said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday launched the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) that includes the Centre's four-year plan to monetise its brownfield infrastructure assets.
The government has planned a Rs 6 lakh crore pipeline of assets that can be monetised which includes a range of assets put on the block for private sector participation, over a four-year period, from Financial Year 2022 to Financial Year 2025.
Further speaking about privatisation, Gandhi said, "We are not against privatization but our privatization plan had a logic. We didn't privatize strategic industries and we consider Railways as a strategic industry because it transports lakhs and crores of people and also employs lots of people," he added.
"We privatized chronically loss-making industries. We privatized the companies that had a minimal market share. We didn't privatize government enterprises with the potential of checking private sector monopoly in a particular sector," he added further.
As part of a multi-layer institutional mechanism for overall implementation and monitoring of the asset monetisation programme, an empowered Core Group of Secretaries on Asset Monetization (CGAM) under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary has been constituted.