MANGALURU: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday said that members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, and Economically-weaker sections are set to suffer a lot as the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) policy of the Union Government will snatch jobs reserved for them in Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
Addressing reporters after visiting the ailing senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes at a private hospital, Kharge opined that the NMP will further worsen the unemployment situation in the country, and that not all 366 PSUs are sick. “The PSUs together are making a net profit of about Rs 1 lakh crore. They are paying about Rs 7 lakh crore tax to the government,” he added.
Monetising strategic assets like railways, airports and others will prove costly during emergency situations like wars and outbreak of epidemics, the senior Congress leader said. Further, he said that with the privatisation of highways, the toll fee is set to increase by four times. Slamming the government over fuel price rise, he said while Rs 25 lakh crore was collected from taxes on fuel in the last seven years, the government repaid only 3,500 crore in lieu of oil bonds.
Alleging that the government is trying to stifle all kinds of dissent and freedom of speech, Kharge said their struggle for a discussion on Pegasus Spyware and against farm laws will continue. On the Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike elections, Kharge said the Congress, with 27 seats in the corporation, enjoys people’s mandate and hence all secular parties should join hands to rule the local body. Kharge said he spoke to JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda seeking his party’s support. Asked whether Congress is ready to give the mayor’s post to JDS, he said the local leaders will decide on it.