October 29, 2012

mukesh ambani's reliance's unhealthy influence in cabinet reshuffle seen...

I share below a message received in my mailbox from a coalition of civil society groups on the unhealthy influence of Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries (RIL) in the latest round of cabinet reshuffle in the central government of India.

From: NAPM India
Date: 28 October 2012 17:37
Subject: Press Release 28th October, NAPM condemns UPA reeling under Reliance Pressure, Challenges transfer and pricing of Natural Resources against Nation’s Interest
To: napm-india , napmconveners

 National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
National Office: A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road,
Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014 Phone - 9969363065;
Delhi Office: 6/6 jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014. Phone: 9818905316
E-mail: napmindia@napm-india.org | Web: www.napm-india.org

Press Release                                                                         28th October 2012, Hyderabad
NAPM condemns UPA reeling under Reliance Pressure

Challenges transfer and pricing of Natural Resources against Nation’s Interest

No Privatization of Minerals and No forcible Acquisition for Private Projects

The news that the Petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy is again to be replaced by someone else, repeating the incidence that took place few years ago when Mani Shankar aiyar was replaced by Murli Deora, Ambani’s childhood friend. The very fact that Jaipal Reddy was the one who questioned the irrational demand by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on escalating the prices of natural gas ,irrespective of the decision and agreement by the union government and RIL on the price to be steady till 2014,  this is one more example, just one of many related to RIL, one of the largest corporates in the country, pulling strings to change the player in the political domain that challenges its activities ,especially huge or even vulgar profit making.

NAPM condemns this, as an evidence of politician-corporate nexus and joint crime against people, who are left deprived when not the State exchequer but the corporates’ accounts are filled and swelling. It is Shocking and disgusting that even when the congress and NCP leaders are challenged at the center and in states, for their involvement in illegal allocation and transfer of land and other resources, at the cost of the public interest; they still have guts to take such an action mainly to give the Ambani’s a clean field. A stratergy to counter this will be worked out in its upcoming National Convention (9th biennial), from 17th to 19th November, at village Kiraloor, 15 Kms from Thrissur, Kerala.

While the loss that would occur if the price hike was accepted is quoted to be $ 6.3 billion, with the undue spread and spell of the RIL across the country and the sectors ranging from Oil & Gas to Infrastructure, telecommunications, theatres, retail, health, education.. right up to Satyamev Jayate, there is no doubt that it may go much beyond even the DLF’s swell, already exposed. It is the wicked game of acquisition of lands, with minerals attached to land, allocation of deep sea blocks, or transfer of the richest of our Nation’s Natural Resources to these private players; that is the worst and the highest level of misappropriation by the present rulers.

The millionaires such as Ambanis have been putting all undue pressures either through PMO, Minister or even through media, seeking concessions; while farmers without subsidy are compelled to commit suicides. It is high time that country demands total nationalization of our mineral resources, the only wealth that is luxuriously expended without any concern, neither for the State’s earning, nor for the environmental impacts and loss of livelihoods to the local populations of farmers and fish workers.

The Krishna Godavari basin issue was distortedly and deliberately presented as if the RIL were to limit its extraction of Natural gas worth approx $ 3 billion dollars, very recently. The fact is that on one hand this has been the tactic to get higher and higher price for their “Natural Product”, while on other hand it is the high incidence of subsidence (sinking of land) in the KG basin that should have compelled them to do so. Resulting in the sea ingress and destruction of paddy lands, as also threatening the habitats and livelihood of millions of people in the Basin, such an ecological impact should have been monitored by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. MOEF, just as other ministries have also been relying upon not laws or policies, nor public hearings but the RIL to plan its targets and profits, violating the laws.

Other examples of this include the power projects granted to Ambani, one in the name of Common wealth games and others without checking the economic feasibility and environmental sustainability, in fact the Reliance work in a threatened eco system of KG basin must come to a halt and this giant monstrous corporate must be prevented from any further investment and favours to facilitation for adding to its unconstitutional wealth, that is costing crores of toiling citizens in the country, destitution, malnourishment, unemployment to homelessness and hunger.

In this regard the Supreme Court can if it wishes to take a suo moto cognizance of the CAG reports to media reports, even in the frame work of its own judgment on 2G spectrum and beyond. If it does not, the People’s Movements that are fighting for no forcible acquisition of natural resources by the State for the private and PPP projects, simultaneously questioning pushing of plans and projects that transfer the resources from people to profiteers; will have to raise voice against “Unreliable  Reliance”.

The new Bill soon to be put up before the parliament is another attempt to continue the forcible acquisition for the private corporates and builders; bypassing the unanimous report by the all party parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development. This needs to be questioned and plans of, not only Ambanis but of Jindals, Tatas, Mittals, Adanis, Hiranandani to DLFs all are to be curtailed.

In Place of a weak Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill; National Alliance of People’s Movements demands a Democratic Development Planning Act following the constitutional frame work of local self governance.

Medha Patkar              B.Ramakrishnam Raju          Saraswati Kavula         Shashank Rajwadi

For Details contact Madhuresh - 09818905316
National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai - 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529

6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org
Facebook : www.facebook.com/NAPMindia
Twitter : @napmindia

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