CPI-M flays UPA, Banerjee for divesting stake in Phoenix Yule


Kolkata: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Saturday accused Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee of taking “dual stand” on privatisation, saying she remained silent when the central government decided to divest stake in the city-based industrial equipment maker Phoenix Yule.

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The CPI-M’s Bengali mouthpiece Gaanshakti said in an editorial that Banerjee was absent from a cabinet meeting of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government Thursday that decided to offload 26 percent equity in Phoenix Yule.

“Since then, the (Trinamool Congress) leader has not opened her mouth on the issue,” it said.

The government has decided to sell 26 percent equity held by state-run Andrew Yule in Phoenix Yule to Germany’s Continental Conti Tech for Rs.62.82 crore, including an additional compensation of Rs.3.69 crore.

Phoenix Yule is a joint venture between Phoenix Aktiengesellschaft of Germany and the Kolkata-based Andrew Yule.

Taking a dig at Banerjee’s opposition to the state’s industrialisation drive, the editorial said: “The section of the media, which is busy building her image, will have us believe that the central dispensation has not been able to go ahead with its plans for divesting shares in the public sector units mainly due to her opposition.”

“She has joined the cabinet knowing fully well that the present central government is a great advocate of economic liberalisation. .. Her stand only reveals her fraudulence.”

Flaying the UPA decision, the editorial said Phoenix Yule would now come under the complete ownership of foreign companies.