Govt should 1st convince RSS-affiliate BMS on NMP: Chidambaram


Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who has criticised the Centre’s National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), on Tuesday asked the government to first convince the RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) on the issue.

In a statement, he said, “If the PM, FM and the ministers are so sure about the merits of the National Monetisation Pipeline, why don’t they first convince the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS)? BMS is the RSS-affiliated trade union. Was BMS consulted before the NMP was announced? “

Chidambaram alleged that the truth is that no one was consulted, “Instead of asking minor functionaries to make stray statements, the FM should answer the 20 questions that I raised at Mumbai on September 3.”

Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on September 3 posed 20 questions on the Centre’s proposed National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) intended to ‘monetise’ certain assets and earn Rs 6,00,000 crore revenue over the next four years.

Stating that the government should answer the questions, he demanded to know the NMP objectives and whether it was solely intended to raise the revenues over the next four years.

Referring to the criteria adopted upfront to identify the PSUs that would be disinvested or privatised during the previous UPA government, Chidambaram queried whether the same is the case with the current NDA regime.

Pointing out that for infra projects like roads/highways, a PPP policy already exists, he asked what is the difference, if any, between this (PPP) model and the one that would be adopted by the Centre under the NMP, while addressing the media in the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai.

Moreover, if an asset is ‘monetised’ for 30-50 years, what is the value of the piece of paper that declares the government to be the ‘owner’ of that asset, what kind of asset will be returned to the government at the end of the period or would it be a “fully depreciated asset” worth practically nothing.