labels: economy - general, governance
PM puts disinvestment on hold news
06 July 2006

Mumbai: Prime minister Manmohan Singh has put all disinvestment decisions - including sale of shares in NALCO and NLC - and proposals on hold amidst protest from Left allies and a volte face by ruling partner DMK.

The announcement came after the DMK, which earlier backed government''s divestment plan with an employee stock option proposal, threatened to withdraw support to the UPA government on the Neyveli issue.

"There have been representations from some of the constituents and allies of the UPA about the process of disinvestment in some public sector enterprises," the statement said.

"Taking into account their concerns, the prime minister has decided to keep all disinvestment decisions and proposals on hold pending further review," Sanjaya Baru, media adviser to the prime minister, said in the statement.

The statement came shortly after DMK chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi said in Chennai that his party was reconsidering its continuance in the centre.

The Left parties also welcomed the move, saying it is in the national interest and their "pressure" on the government on this count is not meant to destabilise it.

"We think that this sort of disinvestment is neither in the interest of the country, nor in the interest of the public assets. Keeping this in mind, we had opposed it," CPI(M) politbureau member Sitaram Yechury said.

This is the second major disinvestment decision that the government had to put on hold since the government kept on hold its decision to divest 10 per cent of shares in public sector BHEL last year under severe pressure from the Left.

The DMK has 16 MPs while the Left has 60 MPs, both providing critical support to the UPA government.


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PM puts disinvestment on hold