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KTR demands Central Govt to withdraw plans to sell PSU lands in Telangana

Hyderabad: Industries Minister KT Rama Rao demanded the Central government to withdraw its plans to sell assets, including land allotted to different Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in Telangana. Instead, he suggested the union government to explore possibilities of reviving and strengthening the PSUs.

“If it is not feasible then the State government should be given an opportunity to set up new industrial units in such lands,” KT Rama Rao said. He wrote a letter to union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stating that the Central government’s plans to sell PSUs were nothing but making a mockery of the State Government’s rights.

The Industries Minister pointed out that many States, including Tamil Nadu were strongly opposing the Central Government moves to sell PSUs set up in their respective territories.

“I appeal to the Modi Government to reconsider these plans, failing which Telangana Government will strongly obstruct the moves” KT Rama Rao said.

Lashing out at the Central Government for its attempts to sell PSUs in the guise of disinvestment, he sought to know under what provisions or rights, the Modi Government was contemplating the sale of PSUs set up in different States.

It was unfortunate that the Modi Government did not provide job opportunities to the unemployed youth. If the PSUs were reopened, they would provide direct employment to thousands and indirectly millions would be benefited, he suggested.

Instead the Central Government was focusing on withdrawing investment to facilitate sale of the companies. The BJP Government was selling Hindustan Cables Limited, Hindustan Florocarbons Limited, Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited, HMT, Cement Corporation of India Limited (CCI) and Ordinance factories in Telangana as part of its disinvestment plans, he charged.

In the past, the State Governments had allotted about 7,200 acres of land to these six companies. According to government estimates, the value of these lands would be nearly Rs 5,000 crore and as per open market prices, the value could be over Rs.40,000 crore, he said.

The State Government had allotted lands to these companies at marginal prices and in a few cases, they were offered for free, since setting up of these units would generate employment to local people, besides facilitating industrial development.

Telangana Government was recognizing the physical assets of PSUs, which the Central Government wanted to sell, as the people’s right. In the guise of disinvestment, the Central Government move to sell these assets would be tantamount to selling Telangana assets, he said.

Interestingly, when Telangana Government urged allotment lands for construction of Skyways to improve transportation in Hyderabad, Central Government demanded compensation as per market price.

“In this context, how can the Central Government sell the lands that were allotted by State Government for setting up PSUs,” KT Rama Rao questioned.

Since coming to power, the Central Government has been deceiving the youth by not providing jobs and cooking up ‘stories’. On the contrary, the Modi Government was focused only on selling of public assets, he ridiculed.

While continuing to sideline implementation of assurances made to Telangana as per Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, the Central Government was selling PSUs under disinvestment plans. These ill thought moves of selling PSUs in Telangana should be withdrawn immediately, he said to union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the letter.