The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Making a mockery of the Prime Minister's pronouncement that his government does not want to liquidate the public sector, the Union Cabinet has taken a major decision to part with blue chip profit-making public sector companies. The prices at which the government equity in IBP and VSNL has been sold constitute a big bonanza for the private sector. The hard-earned assets of the Indian people built over half a century are being sold at throwaway prices.
Clearly, this decision has been taken to bridge the burgeoning fiscal deficit on the eve of the annual budget. Such a distress sale makes neither economic nor common sense. It is akin to a farmer selling his land to meet his daily expenditure.
The decision to impose a voluntary retirement scheme on government employees will further aggravate the already grim employment situation. More than 11 lakh employees are slated to lose their jobs.
The CPI(M) strongly protests against these anti-people policies and warns the Vajpayee government that this unrestricted sale of India will not be accepted by the Indian people.