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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 42 New Delhi October 8, 2016

Corruption in the Contractor Raj

Sunday 9 October 2016

by K. Narayana

Ever since the NDA Government of the RSS Parivar or the RSS family rule came to power with absolute numbers in 2014, tricks have been played to show that they are above corruption. The media houses, mostly of the corporate bodies or the ones that depend upon their ads, keep on telling us that there is no corruption in the Modi Government and everything is transparent. Yes, it is transparent for the select few business houses and their nominees in the bureaucracy who prepare documents of policy for the government on the basis of the dictates of the corporates to whom they owe their allegiance.

We have been listening to the kind of skirmishes between the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, and the Ambani nominee as the Lt Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung. Interestingly, there is absolute agreement between the previous government and that of the NDA in matters of economic policy and the issues that follow. In fact the NDA is sincerely implementing what the Congress had been doing for decades with every important Congress-man involved in some scam. The difference is that Modi and his masters, including the RSS, have selected some contractors and corporates only as their nominees to carry on the business. While the Congress used to talk about secularism and go to Ayodhya up to Hanuman’s feet, the BJP /RSS direct groups to indulge in all kinds of petty mafia activities like lynching Dalits, Muslims and others to divert the attention of the common man about the economic plunder. You can see that there will be an orchestrated social tension created by the cohorts of the parivar whenever a serious contract of transferring of huge public resources is involved.

Common sense tells us that whenever Modi or Naidu go out on foreign tour they take an entourage of corporates and the bureaucratic clique along with them to get agreements signed not for the country but for the chosen corporates. Once the papers are ready, a signal goes to the RSS headquarters to create issues of diversion in the form of social tension or huge festival or a yagna etc. to divert the attention of the people and the agreements would be signed. Now, the General Budget is going to be introduced along with Railway Budget in February hinting that the government companies are ready for transfer to private companies. They brought some business economists, who were advisers to corporates entities, to do the exercise of privatisation and kept them in the Yojana Bhavan and called it NITI Ayog. Their job is to identify the units, resources that can be given to the corporates. They do the exercise with the help of their paid experts or intellectuals. One important example is one of their members has produced a report to privatise the Railways and now the time has come to do it in the Budget.

It is against this background that several things are happening in the name of agreements and policy-changes involving not billions but trillions of rupees worth of public sector resources. Now Adani is considered to be the most efficient person than hundreds of trained executives in making the coal and oil sectors productive. Therefore, it is reported (The Times of India, September 21) that the Indian Oil Corporation and GAIL are going to invest in Adani’s Dhrma project in Orissa worth Rs 5000 crores. If Adani had any problem with capital or incurring losses in his ventures, public sector units are there to come to his rescue and by intelligently showing his prowess, both in financial and government loyalty to him, he would expand his empire. In all his tours Modi, it is alleged, goes with the Gujarati banias. Another impor-tant business deal initiated by the Steel Ministry is that of Laxmi Mittal of the UK; he is in trouble and will be given the responsibility of promoting SAIL through perhaps merger or joint venture.

It is strange that no one is raising the issue of corruption that involved direct Cabinet Ministers in the case of Orissa, Mr Pradhan of the Petroleum Ministry and Mr Singh, Minister of Steel, in the above two issues. It is without shame that the RSS functionaries talk about corruption of others while members of their own parivar are deeply connected with the above economic operations that involve trillions of rupees. It will be known later that these mergers or investments would be under the direct control of the corporates transferring properties acquired with people’s money and sacrifices.

The GSPC, the petroleum company of Gujarat, claimed the gas discovery in the Deen-dayal field with exaggerated reserves of over 20 tcf to recklessly spend thousands of crores of public money. It is not difficult to assume that huge kickbacks might have gone to the ruling party. Let us not forget that during that period the GSPC was constantly under the keen supervision of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and his eyes and ears were the nominated Director of the Board, Urjit Patel, the present RBI Governor. The final approved reserves are slightly over 1 tcf of gas and the Auditor General pointed out the over-spending. The ONGC is now being forced to farm in to the Gujarat company with over Rs 20,000 crores debt.

The kind of transfers and handovers of the government companies and people’s resources to individuals is much deeper now than before. The corrupt Congress is silent on the issues as it was they who brought all this and maybe some of their business cohorts are behind these with the tacit understanding of the NDA. We need to expose this cheating in daylight by the NDA Government. How is it that one individual like Adani or Ambani is more intelligent than the whole system of government? It is simply deceit! Let us expose them.

Dr K. Narayana is the Secretary, CPI National Council. He can be contacted at e-mail: narayanacpi[at]gmail.com