Days after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharanam announced the Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the government by saying that it was “busy in sales”.
On Thursday, Gandhi expressed concern over the rising Covid-19 cases in the country and said that people should take care of themselves as the government is “busy in sales”.
Gandhi has been accusing the BJP government of selling out the country’s assets built in the last 70 years, after it announced its asset monetisation pipeline plan.
“Rising COVID numbers are worrying. Vaccination must pick up pace to avoid serious outcomes in the next wave,” he said on Twitter.
“Please take care of yourselves because GOI is busy with sales,” he also said.
India saw a single-day rise of 46,164 COVID-19 infections with 607 fatalities in the last 24 hours, pushing the country’s total number of cases so far to 3,25,58,530 and death toll to 4,36,365.
The active COVID-19 cases in country have increased to 3,33,725.
Gandhi’s comment came after Sitharaman on Wednesday slammed Gandhi and claimed that was, in fact, the was Congress that received “kickbacks” by selling resources such as land and mines.
She reminded that the governments headed by the Congress raised Rs 8,000 crore by monetising the Mumbai-Pune expressway, and in 2008, it was the UPA government that floated the request for proposal to lease out New Delhi Railway Station.
“Does Rahul Gandhi understand monetisation? Didn’t the Congress government bring RFP (Request for Proposal) for the New Delhi railway station in 2008? I would want to ask Rahul Gandhi who owns the railway station now. Jijaji (brother-in-law)?,” Sitharaman was quoted as saying during a press conference in Mumbai.
Previously, while announcing the MNP said had said that asset monetisation will unlock resources and lead to value unlocking.
Union Budget 2021-22 had identified monetisation of operating public infrastructure assets as a key means for sustainable infrastructure financing.
Towards this, the Budget provided for preparation of a “National Monetisation Pipeline” of potential brownfield infrastructure assets. NITI Aayog in consultation with infra line ministries has prepared the report on NMP.
The aggregate asset pipeline under NMP over the four-year period is indicatively valued at Rs 6 lakh crore. The estimated value corresponds to 14 per cent of the proposed outlay for the Centre under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (Rs 43 lakh crore).
The end objective of this initiative is to enable “infrastructure creation through monetisation” wherein the public and private sector collaborate, each excelling in their core areas of competence, so as to deliver socio-economic growth and quality of life to the country’s citizens, she added.
(With inputs from PTI)