Ex-Indian Finance Minister Slams Modi Gov't for Not Consulting Anyone About Asset Monetisation
05:35 GMT 07.09.2021 (Updated: 10:39 GMT 19.07.2022)
India's main opposition party Congress has been critical of the federal government's ambitious asset monetisation plan. It had previously accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of "selling the crown jewels of the country".
Former Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday criticised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led federal government for not consulting anyone before introducing the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP).
Launched by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 23 August, the NMP aims to create a virtuous cycle of "develop, commission, monetise, and invest" in India's national infrastructure.
The Congress parliamentarian alleged that the PM, the finance minister, and other ministers have not even bothered to explain the NMP to the trade union -- Bharatiya Mazdoor Sang -- affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organisation of the country's ruling party BJP.
Chidambaram also dared federal Finance Minister Sitharaman to answer his questions on the NMP.
The truth is that no one was consulted.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 7, 2021
Instead of asking minor functionaries to make stray statements, the FM should answer the 20 questions that I raised at Mumbai on September 3.
On 3 September, while addressing a press conference in Mumbai, the key Congress leader posed 20 questions on the federal government's proposed NMP. He had even asked if the government was planning to consult the opposition or hold a debate on the NMP in parliament. He claimed that his party Congress had monetised non-core, loss-making assets when in power, in stark contrast to what the Modi government has proposed.
The NMP aims to raise $81 billion (INR 6 trillion) by selling 25 international and domestic airports, 15 railway stations, and 160 coal mining projects.