Economic self reliance has been jettisoned to please the corporates

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By: Chada Venkata Reddy

Our country is sovereign democratic republic. People alone are rulers. People elect governments. Based on the norms of Constitution, government should be restrained by the basic constitutional principles and thus implement laws. But it has become common for ruling government to take unilateral decisions. With individual trends, adopting dictatorial methods, crushing aspirations of people and above all acting against self reliance of the nation, Central government is attacking the fundamental rights of people and violating the Constitution.

During 2014 elections, several promises were made by Modi. Out of which how many are being implemented? There is no review on this issue. Modi never opts for self criticism. As a matter of fact, if any one criticises him, he will be treated as anti- national. Modi is ruling the country contrary to promises made. Demonetisation, Goods & Services Tax has ruined our economy. In 2019 elections, BJP after getting more than two third majorities started functioning without any restraint. Agenda of Sangh parivar which was kept at abeyance for some time now has been brought in the open. Autonomous status of Jammu & Kashmir got scrapped. Article 370 was removed.

And now since last one year, attempts are made to implement Citizenship Act. Defections are being encouraged. If anybody criticises the government about its omissions and commissions, his voice gets throttled in various ways. Modi is willing to have democracy without any opposition.

As a climax, even agriculture which is an ancient profession, and providing employment to many apart from feeding the nation is being corporatised. Successive governments in the past felt that public sector undertakings are for self reliance of our nation. Immediately in the after math of independence, the government had evolved five year plans. The then government tried to evolve economy democratically. And that is how green revolution was ushered in the country. In five year plans, they have given priority to irrigation projects which was to meet the need for irrigation of cultivable lands and also cater to the needs of people for drinking water.

There was every effort to strengthen Public sector undertakings that are not just for either earning profits or for creating more jobs. They are meant for social objective and to benefit entire people of the nation. Public sector undertakings do not belong to any individual but they belong to entire nation. Our rulers have faced many difficulties in order to establish key sectors like steel, textile, railways etc in public sector 60 years back. As most technologically developed countries like America, Japan did not come forward to help newly independent India, the then socialist country Soviet Union had come forward to establish many steel plants, oil refineries. Present BJP government headed by Modi has declared that duty of government is not doing business. It is the duty of others. He has revealed that if 100 public sector undertakings are sold government can get Rs 2.50 lakh crores. But fact is that Vizag steel plant alone costs Rs 2.00 lakh crores. If 100 PSUs are sold much more money will come to government. They want to kill golden goose and want to keep it as dinner for corporate friends. We can manufacture many commodities by ourselves through PSUs provided we can arrange raw materials and marketing facilities. We can put an end to many imports. We need not depend on other countries; we need to be self reliant.

About opening the doors of profitable companies to Foreign Direct Investments, it is common to say that public sector undertakings are running under losses as to justify their privatisation. But Modi gives a different reason. He says the profit making industries would be sold easily. LIC is running under profit and helping government whenever financial assistance is required. It is not running under losses at all. But Modi government has increased foreign direct investments from 49 to 74 percent. If doors are opened to foreign investors how it the country would be self reliant? Against policies of privatisation and dismantling of public sector the 20 crores workforce went on strike all over the country November 2. 2020.

Railways, steel, electricity, LIC, BSNL and defence sector are all running in profit, but government of BJP headed by Modi opened the doors to domestic and foreign corporates. This is definitely mortgaging the country to foreign corporates. Even agriculture sector is also getting corporatised. This is nothing but putting democracy in shackles. Banks are being merged in order to help their friends cum loan evaders. So far Rs 8 lakh crores worth of loans are being evaded which have become nonperforming assets.

Burden of more taxes are heaped up on common man through Goods & Services Tax. Apart from this petrol, diesel, cooking gas cylinder prices have all shot up. As diesel prices are being hiked, transport charges are also being hiked. Prices of essential commodities have soared up. Does self -reliance mean selling profitable public sector undertakings at cheaper rate to corporate friends and heaping burden of taxes and price rise on common man? The government wants to cover its mistakes in maintaining budget properly. The government is sucking the blood of common man.

Modi government is burdening common man by hiking prices of essential commodities and taxes. People should ask BJP leaders how many jobs have been created. During period of lockdown how many in general and how many migrant workers in particular lost their livelihood during seven years of Modi rule. Whether people could live in peace, and freedom?

Modi government is preparing to conduct “Amruth Mahotsav” on the occasion of 75 years of independence. Concept of self reliance has proved to be a misnomer. In this crucial situation, people should awake, open their eyes, raise their consciousness, fight against selling of profitable companies to foreign investors, privatisation and above all against corporatisation of agriculture. (IPA Service)

 

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