Union Power Minister R K Singh said that a lobby had been instrumental in opposing privatisation of state-run utilities.
“When there was nothing, there was public sector...we did not come here out of choice; we came here because there was nobody else…,” Singh said while addressing the inaugural session of National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) 'Indian Power Station (IPS) 2020' held at Raipur today.
It makes no sense that when other people are setting up power plants the government has to exit, he said, adding that he did not believe it was correct. “That is an aspect which I think we need to talk about and we need to say because there is a lobby out there (which) keep talking against public sector and keep talking about privatisation which I don’t support,” Singh said without naming anyone.
“For a long time there has been a movement against the public sector (undertakings). I have seen it because I have been in service for many years,” Singh, the retired IAS officer-turned-politician said. “Right now I will not talk about privatisation of Air India etc but when I go abroad and I see that most of the airlines are owned by the governments…I don’t know why there is a movement here in our country against the public sector,” Singh said, adding that PSUs had been responsible for laying foundation India’s growth.
The statement assumes significance when the Narendra Modi-led government had been mooting major strategic disinvestment. Even the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) had termed the privastisation of PSUs against the national interest.