Public Sector units, whether under the control of Central or State governments, are started with important aims and objectives like providing satisfactory essential services to the people at low cost, providing infrastructure in the various core sectors, catering to the national important sectors like defence, telecom, airways, railways et. etc. as also providing jobs to the youth. About 270 PSUs were there in the central government and probably more under the various state governments. These PSUs served the cause of the nation. They were the backbone of the government.
But unfortunately, after 1980s, and especially from 1990 onwards, the central government, based on the liberalisation, globalisation, privatisation policy (LPG), started discriminating the public sector for the private sector. Through various ways, the PSUs were made weak, loss making and then started closing, selling or privatising them. The government lost valuable PSUs and sold them at throw away prices. The corruption involved in these transactions are well known. Both the UPA and NDA governments continued with the same anti-PSU policy. The were selling the valuable assets of the country and the people to the corporates.
The main job of the NITI Ayog, the institution formed in place of the Planning Commission demolished by the Modi Government, is to select the PSUs for closure or privatisation. Already many PSUs like HMT, ITI, Air India, BSNL, MTNL, BEL are in the list for closure or privatisation citing loss. But many profitable PSUs are also in the list.
If the BJP led NDA comes in to power for the next term also, it is certain that most of the PSUs, whether Navaratna, Mini Ratna or otherwise will be sold or privatised. The undue favour being shown to the Ambanis, Adanis etc. clearly shows this trend.
It is time that all the managements of the PSUs, the unions/associations of these PSUs should come together, discuss the future of the PSUs and how to defend the Public Sector. Already the Central trade Unions and the Central Public Sector Trade Unions (CPSTU) are on the job. But this work has to be accelerated, strengthened and a strong and sustained struggles organised, if the PSUs are to be saved.
In contrast to the policies of the central government, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government in Kerala led by Com. Pinarayi Vijayan as the Chief Minister, is making all out efforts to strengthen the Public Sector and provide more jobs to the jobless youth. Out of the 44 PSUs, all of which were loss making during the UDF government, 15 are already made to profit making, and maximum efforts are put to bring the other PSUs also profit making. New workers are recruited.
The CPI(M) in its election manifesto has focussed the necessity of strengthening the PSUs, which are the valuable assets of the nation and which can provide many jobs.
One is a policy against the interests of the common people and the workers, and the other is a people-worker oriented policy. The election gives a chance for each and every individual to cast his vote without fear or favour.