The BJP government presently at the Centre has consistently been displaying it’s faith on Liberalisation and Privatisation , ever since it has come to power. It’s idea of the path to development pivots around the efficiency of private enterprises.
And true enough, for we have long seen the inefficiencies and under utilisations in the PSUs in the country. The profit-motive of private firms is believed to improve the poor conditions of the PSUs and hence, the Narendra Modi government is engaging in Disinvestments and rapid privatisation. Some of the areas are:
Air India: The government proposed a disinvestment of 76% stake in Air India. The interested players were given a deadline of 31st March to submit their bids. However, the government did not receive any bids at all. This was due to the 24% stake that the government intends to hold. The private players want absolute autonomy it seems, especially since they are to bear the airline’s debt amount of Rs 33,392 Crores.
The Chairman of Mahindra Group, Mr Anand Mahindra tweeted a list of suggestions for the government which included providing the new chairman absolute autonomy, insulation from political pressure, and full moral support in all the tough measures that will be required, especially with regard to the over-employment in the Airline.
Union Minister of Road Transport, Nitin Gadkari said Air India has a sentimental value for the country. That’s the reason behind the emphasis on 51% stake to be given to a company owned by an Indian citizen,apart from the 24% stake retained with the government.
• 2.52% stake in the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) was offered for sale. The bidding took place on 9th and 10th January this year.
• Apart from Air India, the government has plans of disinvestment in 5 other PSUs, namely IRCTC, IRCON Ltd., Mishra Dhatu Nigam, Mazagon Dock Ltd., and Dredging Corporation of India. The Indian Railways, among others, is fast moving towards privatisation as the government plans to auction railway stations. The private firms will be allowed to develope the station premises with shopping complexes, food centres, etc. And maintain it for 15 years, and in return, they will be given 45 years’ leasing rights.
• ‘Adopt A Heritage’ is a scheme brought forth by the Modi government in order to harness greater energies in the Tourism sector. The project invites corporate houses and individual actors to adopt a heritage site and finance the infrastructural development in and around the site. The companies will be given limited visibility within the premises and in the Incredible India website.
The involvement of private players seems to be a great move in the country’s development, though the equality in the development is questionable and uncertain!