Sanjay Raut asks govt to reconsider decision to privatise Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust

New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday asked the government to reconsider its decision to privatise the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Navi Mumbai, saying it would be a loss of a national property.

Raising the issue as part of a Zero Hour mention in Rajya Sabha, Raut said everyone knows that the economic situation of the country is serious. After demonetisation, the country is faced with the coronavirus pandemic, and the situation is such that the GDP as well as the RBI are "bankrupt", he said.

In such a backdrop, Raut said the government has decided to put the Railways, Air India, and LIC on the block. "There is a very big sale. JNPT has also been put on sale," he said The member of the Shiv Sena, which is running a coalition government in Maharashtra along with Congress and NCP, said giving this important port to private players would be big loss of a national property. He pointed out that the JNPT is also very important from the view point of national security.

Raut said with privatisation of JNPT, about 7,000 acre valuable land would also go in the hands of private players. He said the JNPT provides employment to a large number of people and privatisation would lead to retrenchments. "I believe the government should not privatise JNPT," Raut said.

In his Zero Hour mention, D P Vats (BJP) made a case for peacetime gallantry award to frontline corona warriors of the country. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has created a war-like situation globally.

Frontline Covid warriors, especially doctors and paramedics, doing duties in COVID ICUs, operation theatres, labour rooms and isolation wards are akin to soldiers crossing the mine field forsaking their personal safety, Vats said.

Fatality rate among frontline corona warriors is the highest all over the world and India was no exception, he said, and added various incentives, including insurance cover, given to them are insufficient.

"Through You (Chairman) I recommend that frontline corona warriors should be awarded service/gallantry peace medal at par with military or police services like air hostess Neerja Bhanot was awarded," he said.

Bhanot, the senior most flight attendant on board a Pan Am Mumbai-New York flight, was shot dead by terrorists, who hijacked the flight at Karachi in 1986, in her courageous bid to save the lives of passengers. She became the youngest recipient of India's highest peacetime military award for bravery, the Ashok Chakra.

Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP) raised the issue of filling up of vacancies against quota for backward classes in the central government. He said said vacancies were not being filed up and there was a huge disappointment among the youth belonging to backward classes.

The 27 per cent quota for backward classes is not being filed up by departments leading to despair among educated youth, he said. According to him, only 10 per cent quota has been filled up till date since 1994 and in central universities the number is almost zero.

He demanded action against officials responsible for not filing up such vacancies. N Gokulakrishnan (AIADMK) said the backward class of society is feeling increasingly insecure in terms of employment in central government offices and educational opportunities in higher education like medicine.

Though the Mandal Commission recommendations have been implemented, they are only on paper and hardly 5 per cent of the central sector employees belong to the backward class despite over 20 years of implementation, he added.

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