The Loony Left has done it again.
It has taken a very different, very public line on the much-needed privatisation of India’s abysmally pathetic airports. Even after the UPA government took a middle path on privatisation – by reducing the foreign equity limits to 49% – the Loony Left is stubbornly sticking to its stand against privatisation.
The Left, of course, is trying to explain why it opposes the move. One, airports are public property and no government can sell what belongs ‘to the people’. That the people — those who use airports, as opposed to the motley crew of raging trade unionists — prefer professional companies to take over airport maintenance eludes our comrades. Then there are security concerns. Apart from the fact that bad security makes bad business — something that bidding companies like Larsen & Toubro know well enough — security will remain in government hands. As for the fear of foreign investors taking over the nation starting with our airports, all one can say is that neo-imperialism isn’t on anybody’s priority list; providing good service in exchange of money is. [HT]
It may well be that the Left is flexing its muscles early on in the term to demonstrate its ‘power’ to the new government. But the move is in line with the loony Left’s regressive ideological stand on privatisation and the role of government in business. If this is any sign of things to come, Dr Manmohan Singh find it almost impossible to push through the much needed labour reforms (read, make it
easy possible to fire workers). And without labour reform, the UPA’s much championed cause of promoting employment will not be worth the ink its printed on the Common Minimum Programme.
The Loony Left seems to think it has a veto over economic policy. Manmohan Singh would do well to prove them wrong at the outset and make the ground rules clear.