Unsustainable monetization plan cruel joke on people, says ex-Union justice minister

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Ashwani Kumar says the NMP seeks to legitimize the favors of a few favorites at the expense of the public interest

Ashwani Kumar says the NMP seeks to legitimize the favors of a few favorites at the expense of the public interest

The BJP government’s National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) Policy is a cruel joke on the people of the country and is totally untenable, former Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar has said.

NPM is a “fire sale” of the nation’s assets and goes against the national interest, and seeks to legitimize the favors of a few favorites to the detriment of the public interest and violates the fiduciary obligations of government, Mr. Kumar said at a press conference. conference in Chennai on Thursday.

Slamming the BJP government for the proposal, he said the policy was tailor-made for rent-seeking at different levels and smacks of crony capitalism. “The policy is virtually a taxpayer-funded transfer of assets to a handful of corporate groups. This will lead to an increasing concentration of economic power in crucial sectors of the economy, leading to a loss of government revenue for 30 to 50 years,” he said.

Mr Kumar said the rationale for collecting ₹6 lakh crore from the NMP to facilitate the investment of ₹100 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector “is nonsense”. He said no consultation had taken place with stakeholders or in parliament before the announcement of “the offset sale policy, which is a fraud on power”. He also questioned the criteria the government used to select assets to monetize and the basis on which those selections were made.

He further stated that the proposed concession period of 30 to 50 years in favor of private parties would practically amount to shifting from public rights to perpetuity, without clear guidelines to balance profit and utility motives. “The policy could actually lead to job insecurity and could derail the job reservation policy for SCs, STs, OBCs,” he said.

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