Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh strongly opposes the

selling of Air India and asks

the government to think over this decision

a hundred times.

Ever since inception, public sector undertakings have been the driver of growth and value creation. Perhaps they are the only enterprises in India that fulfilled all the objectives laid out according to the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956. It is unfortunate that they are being sold in the name of resource mobilization to
fund social spending. We hold a strong view that selling PSU to private players is not going to help the government in mobilizing resources and funding social spending because privatization does not free the government from its responsibilities.

We need to acknowledge that there are certain sectors in which both public as well private sector enterprises are not being able to perform and there are cases in which private players failed to generate own resources, they simply took the money in form of loans from the banks (many in the public sector) and then
they failed to repay the loan deepening non-performing asset crisis. There are multiple instances in which the government used the tax-payers’ money to bail out either private business or banks. It is an indirect way of funding private business, who, when in profit, shares nothing more than the taxes to the
government. It is a classic case of the privatization of profit and socialization of loss. This is why we conclude that the idea of selling PSUs is a way to save tax-payers’ money and create resources for socialspending is a flawed one.These arguments get more currency when we are talking of the aviation sector in
which one after another private players have failed to make a mark, Kingfisher being the most glaring example. When dealing with the public sector, we should think of the yardsticks we are using for the measurement of the performance. Judging performance of the public sector units solely on the basis of the monetary profit  and loss is a wrong practice, as we mentioned above that the aims and objectives of these PSEs are different from those of the private sector enterprises. PSEs are to serve the nation, to create decent jobs,  decent living standards, decent consumption and responsible social behavior. While calculating profit and  loss of Air India we need to think of the fact that Air India has been operating many of the low-profit or  loss-making routes only to serve the passenger and connecting people with one another promoting national
unity – in which any private player will not be operating. Privatization of Air India can have a cascading  impact;like many of those airports which will lose the flight may face further crises, many of the emerging  cities may face the crisis of connectivity etc.  Keeping these issues in mind Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh urge the government to think hundred times before  going for the disinvestment of Air India.

(Virjesh Upadhyay)
General Secretary