Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent
The government is planning to reduce the land licensing fee (LLF) for industrial users of railway land to about two to three percent of the value of land as against six percent now. It is also planning to extend the period for railway land lease from five years to 35 years or more. Both the proposals are meant to make the privatisation of Container Corporation of India ((CONCOR) much more attractive to capitalists. Private owners would have to pay much lesser amounts as land rentals to Indian Railways for a longer period. The lease of 35 years or more will make the private player effective owner of land.
The government presently owns 54.8 percent shares in the company. In November 2019, the government approved the disinvestment of the government’s 30.8 percent shareholding in the company, along with the transfer of management control.
Adani Group, Vedanta Group, two multinational port operators DP World and PSA International along with a few other logistic companies are interested in acquiring CONCOR. The acquisition of CONCOR will give them ownership of more than 60 inland container depots, 250 rakes, as well as its 12 Multi-Modal Logistics Parks and adjacent land.
Concor’s asset network is the backbone of container transportation in India and provides the kind of reach and scale that has not been possible for the private sector till now, extending even up to North East India.
Some 25 of the CONCOR’s 64 inland container depots (ICDs), including its main facility at Tughlakabad near Delhi, are running on land leased from the Indian Railways at concessional market rates.
The current market value of the land including that of the Railways that is in possession of CONCOR would be tens of thousands of crore rupees.
CONCOR is a subsidiary corporation of the Indian Railways. Providing land at concessional LLF by the Railways to CONCOR, a daughter organisation, is justified. Once CONCOR is privatised, continuing the concessional LLF would mean depriving the Railways of revenue. This is nothing but ensuring profit for the private monopoly at the cost of a public enterprise and a loot of all of us, the people of our country!