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Rahul airs concern on Concor divestment

The former Congress president had attacked the government for planning reckless divestments

  • Published 23.10.19, 1:59 AM
  • Updated 23.10.19, 1:59 AM
  • a min read
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Rahul Gandhi in Mahendergarh, Haryana, on Friday (PTI photo)

Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday raised the issue of proposed divestment in Container Corporation, alleging another move by the Narendra Modi government to favour friendly capitalists.

Rahul tweeted: “Highly profitable & strategic, the Container Corporation (Concor) is a PSU jewel that some of the Prime Minister’s greedy crony capitalist friends are hungry for and the Government plans to sell. I met members of the Concor union today. Please share their attached petition & support their cause.”

The former Congress president, in the course of his election campaign in Haryana and Maharashtra, had attacked the government for planning reckless divestments, describing it as selling the country’s assets instead of building anything.

The Congress has been making a big issue out of the proposed sale of BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd), describing it as a huge scam.

A memorandum that the Concor Employee Union submitted to Rahul pleaded with him to raise the matter to stop the sale of the profit-making public sector unit. Pointing out that Concor grew from a firm with capital of Rs 65 crore in 1989 to Rs 34,000 crore, it said the projected worth in a few years, as the dedicated freight corridor is completed, is Rs 1 lakh crore.

The memorandum said the profit recorded in the last financial year was Rs 1,689 crore and it has not taken any budgetary support from the government after its inception.

Over 10 lakh people are directly or indirectly employed by Concor who will be affected by the divestment. “The strategic sale of Concor will lead to monopolistic condition by the purchasing private entity. This will defeat the mixed economy philosophy of our Constitution in order to keep a balance between capitalist and socialist pattern in this segment of business,” the memorandum said.

Concor is the only PSU in its segment of multi-modal logistics and developing dry ports on the hinterland, the memorandum said, adding that the security aspect cannot be ignored as it provides safe mode of movement of currency notes, nuclear fuel and defence equipment.

Media reports have suggested that a corporate group considered close to the government could be interested in acquiring stakes in the PSU.