New Delhi [India], July 2 (ANI): Congress Parliamentary Party chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said that government was surreptitiously "corporatising" Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli, saying the move was beginning of its privatization and the future of the factory employees and their families was in danger.
Raising the issue during zero hour, she attacked the Modi government alleging that most of public sector undertakings were in danger and they had been put at risk to provide profit to select industralists. She said what was happening to HAL,MTNL and BSNL was not hidden from anyone.
Gandhi said the government had kept its move of corporatization as a "deep secret" and the employee unions or the workers have not been taken into confidence and there is no parliament scrutiny.
The UPA chairperson said she wanted to remind the government that the main purpose of public sector undertakings is welfare of people not giving profits to private industrialists.
"I want to draw the attention of the House towards the project of the government under which six production units of Railway will be corporatized. The first phase of the project will be Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli," she said.
Gandhi, who raised an issue for the first time in the new Lok Sabha, said the government should fully protect the coach factory and other assets of public sector undertakings.
"Those who do not know the real meaning of corporatisation, I want the chair's permission to tell them that corporatization is actually beginning of privatization. This is the first step in selling priceless assets of the country on very cheap price to private hands. This leads to unemployment of thousands. The matter of real concern is that they have chosen for experiment Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli which is one of the success stories," Gandhi said.
She said the factory was started by UPA government led by Manmohan Singh to boost manufacturing in the manner of the Make in India progamme of the government and the factory was producing much more than its installed capacity.
Gandhi, who is MP from Rae Bareli, said it is the most modern plant of Railways and is famous for producing best quality railway coaches at cheapest price.
"It is considered among the best units for which and government have put a lot of money to set it up," she said.
Gandhi complimented the nearly 2,000 workers of the factory for their achievements but said it was a matter of pain that their "future as that of their families was in big danger".
"And it is difficult to understand why government wants to corporatize such a unit. Should we now not expect parliament scrutiny of such move, should we not expect to use the common wisdom of the House," she asked.
"The government has kept it as a deep secret. The worker unions have not been taken into confidence nor have been workers whose sweat and hard work has created such industry," she said.
Gandhi said India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had called public sector undertakings as "temples of modern India".
"Today it pains to see that most of these temples are in danger. Despite profits, their employees are not getting salaries and they have been put at risk to benefit a few industralists. What is happening to HAL, BSNL, MTNL, it is not hidden from anyone," she said.
"I urge the government that it should fully protect the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli and all properties of public sector undertakings. They should hold in esteem the workers and their families who are responsible for the feats of these undertakings," she said.
She also expressed unhappiness over BJP-led NDA government's decision to merge rail budget with general budget.(ANI)