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KTR questions Centre's move to sell PSU lands in states

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Hyderabad, June 19 (Ajit Weekly News) Telangana’s Industries and Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao has questioned the Centre’s move to sell the lands allotted by the state government, along with the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).

In a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he appealed to the Central government to reconsider the plans, failing which the Telangana government will “strongly obstruct the moves”.

KTR, as Rama Rao is popularly known, stated that the BJP-led Central government was planning to sell assets, including land allotted to different PSUs, in Telangana.

Instead of selling the assets, the Union government should explore the 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 on such lands,” he said.

KTR said that the Central government’s plans to sell PSUs are nothing but making a mockery of the state government’s rights.

he pointed out that many states, including Tamil Nadu were strongly opposing the Central government moves to sell PSUs set up in their respective territories.

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, KTR said.

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

The state government had allotted about 7,200 acres of land to these six companies. The value of these lands would be nearly Rs 5,000 crore according to government rates 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.

He recalled that when the Telangana government urged the union government to allot lands for the construction of Skyways to improve transportation in Hyderabad, the Centre demanded compensation as per market price.

“In this context, how can the Central government sell the lands that were allotted by the state government for setting up PSUs,” KTR questioned.

–Ajit Weekly News

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