Land rights of privatized CPSUs should remain with States: CPI(M) MP

The Protection of the State Resources Bill, a Private Member Bill moved by CPI(M) MP V Sivadasan in Rajya Sabha on Friday, demands that the right of land, be handed over to the Center by the States or Union Territories for establishing Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs), should remain with the States if the Center privatises CPSUs. The Bill asks for the concurrence of the State for privatization of CPSUs.

Dr. Sivadasan said in the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill that ever since the neoliberal reforms were undertaken in the country, the assets of the CPSUs were sold to private players. “Many of the Public Sector Undertakings have been the result of the whole hearted support and cooperation of the respective States in which they are functioning. The States of India have always reacted enthusiastically to the prospect of having a CPSU established in their respective States. As a result, the States have willingly shared their resources for the establishment of these Public Sector Undertakings and the primary contribution has been in the form of land,” Dr. Sivadasan said.

He said the States have offered huge chunks of land for setting up CPSUs under the ownership of Government of India. “These contributions were made in the good faith, by virtue of the presence of these Public Sector Undertakings, the people of the State will have avenues to secure employment. Such prospects are not made when the privatization of CPSUs takes place,” he added.

He said in several cases States are unable to participate in the bidding process if a CPSU is listed for disinvestment or privatisation. “The terms and conditions are set in such a way that makes State Governments ineligible to participate in auction. This practice needs to be addressed immediately,” he said. The Bill has provisions that a State government should be given an opportunity to take up a CPSU running on loss or set up new industrial units in such lands where a loss-making CPSU is functioning. “A law is necessary for protecting the interests of the State when Public Sector Undertakings are privatised,” he added.

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