On Friday, Congress Lok Sabha MPs Adhir Ranjan Choudhary and Manish Tewari gave an adjournment motion notice in the Lower House over the Centre's decision to disinvest Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs.) PM Modi’s government had earlier set a target of raising a certain amount from the sale of state firms in the current fiscal year. The government’s budget gap goal is at risk due to slow revenue collection limiting the government’s ability to spend on infrastructure and welfare programs. The sale of state refiners of Hindustan Petroleum Corp. and Bharat Petroleum and the privatization of these PSUs could help the Centre meet that mark.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the sale of government's entire 53.29 percent stake along with transfer of management control in the country's second-biggest state-owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) after removing Numaligarh refinery from its fold. It also approved the sale of the entire government holding of 63.75 percent in Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and 30.9 percent stake in Container Corp of India (Concor). This move received a lot of flak as political parties like the CPI(M)decided to extend support to a proposed countrywide strike of BPCL employees on November 28.
The Congress party also staged protests in Lok Sabha against the issuance of electoral bonds, terming the move as "a big scam". The Congress then gave a Suspension of Business Notice in Rajya Sabha under rule 267, over "reservation expressed by RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and ECI (Election Commission of India) on Electoral Bonds Scheme." On Wednesday the Congress party had hit out at the Centre demanding the BJP-led government to disclose all details about the electoral bonds before the Parliament alleging that the scheme has hindered the transparency in the funding of political parties. Describing electoral bonds as a "political bribery scheme", the Congress called it a scam that tarnished the fabric of Indian democracy.
"This is a big scam. The country is being looted. Please allow us to speak," said Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.
The adjournment motion is an extraordinary procedure which, if accepted by the House, leads to setting aside the normal business of the House for discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance. In parliamentary procedure, an adjournment could also end a meeting or a discussion, a time for another meeting on the issue could also be set using the motion.
(With ANI inputs)