Air India sale a free gift from govt to Tatas: CPI(M)

By Special Correspondent
CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury addresses a press conference at party office, in New Delhi, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (Source: PTI)

The CPI(M) on Monday termed the sale of Air India to the Tatas a free gift from the government to the group who, according to reports, is the largest donor of funds to the BJP.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the sale was part of the government’s relentless looting of the country’s national assets.

He was addressing at a press conference at the end of a two-day Polit Bureau meeting at the party headquarters in Delhi.

“This sale is tantamount to giving a free gift to the Tatas by the Modi government. The Tatas will inherit ₹15,300 crore of debt, which will surely be restructured, paying the Central government a mere ₹ 2,700 crore for the national carrier, with all its core assets. ₹46,262 crore of the remaining debt will be the burden of the government, which means that the people will bear the burden of clearing this debt,” Mr. Yechury stated. And all of Air India’s property, including the brand new fleet of aircraft, would be the Tatas property now, he remarked.

“This is not merely a loot of our national assets. This is the sale of the prime public sector and India’s national airline for a song to the Tatas, making the people pay the burden for this,” he observed.

Rise in fuel prices

Mr. Yechury also slammed the government for the exponential rise in fuel prices. For the last six continuous days, the prices have been hiked. He pointed out that in the last 10 months, these prices had increased by over ₹ 20 a litre. On an average, petrol cost around ₹110 and diesel over ₹100 a litre. Similarly, the prices of cooking gas cylinders had increased by ₹ 205, and in many cities, it now exceeded ₹1000, he noted.

“These hikes have set in motion an overall inflationary spiral.” The government must immediately withdraw the excise duties on all petroleum products. In 2020, the government collected a whopping ₹3.61 lakh crore of extra revenue from these duties, he added.

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