Published Date: November 29, 2021


Selling public sector assets won't solve problem: FM Palanivel

In a veiled reference to the Centre's asset monetisa. tion under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the Minister for Finance, Planning, Human Resources Management, Pensions and Pensionary Bene. fits, Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said selling assets of the public sector would not solve the problem.

Addressing a webinar on *From Mixed Economy to Crony Capitalism: Redefi. ning India's Political Economy' organised by Dravidian Professionals Forum on Sunday the minister said selling the assets is a bad way to raise funds for the government. 

     He noted that the more the economy is torn into shreds the more the public enterprises like Air India and others, have been stripped off their assets or run into debt. Once they are distressed, there would be a big hole in the balance sheet and begin to sell them in the pretext of raising funds. "No seller would disclose that I have the stock for the next five years of several lakh crores of rupees", he said.

The market has been damaged by increasing the supply, when there is no demand or for the same demand they increase the amount of supply, and then find convenient buy. ers at distress sales prices. In many cases the assets that were built on the back of the state governments.

The state governments gave land to these public sectors like airports etc, for free for setting up of their projects and now these projects come up for sale, he said.

Talking about Crony Ca. pitalism, the minister said the actual capitalist model has been corrupted by the big winners and mega winners in the economy. The democratic government. ment, which is supposed to provide a level playing field, has been subverted by these capitalists.

In the last seven years there has been a massive power shift away from the state towards the Centre, away from the institutions to the one or two men, a kind of a nexus, which controls almost every institution of state and does it with scant regard for democratic norms or Constitutional con. straints, he complained.

In the first five years, the Centre took away all the taxation power from the state and shifted all the revenue to the Union Government and later transferred funds to the tune of Rs 5.25 trillion directly to beneficiaries under various Central Government welfare schemes. Subsequently, these data have been shared to their political parties to brainwash people for political gain.

Stating that the country should have witnessed 10 percent to 12 percent real growth that China did, the minister recalled that in the 1990s the per capita income between China and India was roughly the same. me. India was slightly higher than China. Right now China is between 3 and 5 times higher: He said in China, the average citizen's outcome has improved quite a bit. However, our average citizens outcome has been retarded for the last seven years and so the consequences of the crony capitalism are severe.

Among others Dr Manoj Jha, Member of Parliament, RJD and Political Commentator Ms. Ece Temelkuran spoke on the occasion. The Madras High court advocate, Puhazh Gandhi and Business Consult. ant Dharanidharan of Dra. vidian Professionals Forum moderated the event.