Tamil Nadu unions say NMP will increase state unemployment
The quadrennial mandate of the Narendra Modi government National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) The plan, which aims to monetize assets worth Rs 6 lakh crore, has sparked a series of protests from unions and left-wing parties in Tamil Nadu. The assurance of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that the plan will not lead to privatization has not found acceptance among the unions.
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR), four airports, 491.5 km of national highways, three projects in the port of VO Chidambaranar (Tuticorin) and the Gas Authority of India pipeline in the Cauvery basin are on the list of assets to monetize in Tamil Nadu.
LISTED AIRPORTS AND SEA PORT
Monetization of Trichy, Coimbatore, Madurai and Chennai airports is expected to bring in Rs 4,694 crore.
“The public-private partnership (PPP) authorization model to monetize the port and airports is dangerous. The policy focused on profiting private actors could also compromise national security, ”said G. Sukumaran, State Secretary General, Indian Trade Union Center (CITU).
The assets of the VOC port, including the North Berth III and five other berths, are worth Rs 2,999 crore. Narendra Rao, general secretary of the Indian Water Transport Workers’ Federation (WTWFI), said: “At the two ports in Tamil Nadu, the VOC port projects have been listed for monetization. The government tries to make money by selling the goods of the people. This will have an impact on the country in the long run.
NMR, HIGHWAYS AND GAS PIPELINE
The Nilgiris District Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) condemned the inclusion of the historic NMR in the NMP’s list and warned of further protests.
“The government has decided to monetize current and potential toll roads. Commuters are already paying high tolls. If these four-lane, higher-lane roads are monetized, the toll rates will go up, ”Sukumaran said.
The Center also intends to monetize railway stations, passenger trains and freight sheds worth Rs 1,52,496 crore. “Of the 400 class A stations, 27 stations are located in Tamil Nadu. The government also announced the privatization of 90 of the 150 trains introduced earlier. The dedicated freight corridor was also included in the list, ”said R Elangovan, vice president of the Dakshin Railway Employees Union.
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, also opposed to NMP.
“If the BJP government continues its frenzy of sales, there will be nothing left for public services; everything will be controlled by a few private actors, ”added Sukumaran.
OBJECTION AGAINST THE MONETIZATION PIPELINE
The CITU called for a statewide protest after the Union’s finance minister announced the NMP. Workers from different sectors protested against this decision.
“The CITU Tamil Nadu state committee has called for a statewide protest against the callous decision of the BJP government. The decision to monetize a very crucial sector will have an impact on economic growth and employment, ”said S Kannan, Deputy Secretary General, CITU, Tamil Nadu Unit.
“The number of public sector companies in Tamil Nadu is much lower. Major government organizations, including the railways and the BSNL, which provide jobs, will be monetized. This will lead to job losses and increased unemployment, ”Kannan added.
The unions have decided to intensify their protests. “Strong union protests limited the Center’s privatization frenzy. Workers at Salem Steel Plant (Tamil Nadu) prevented its privatization. More such protests will take place to stop the BJP government’s plans, ”Sukumaran said.