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Stopping Kerala from bidding for HLL is against Cooperative federalism: Pinarayi Vijayan

Stopping Kerala from bidding for HLL is against Cooperative federalism: Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvanathapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has come down against what he says the Central government's preventing of Kerala from participating in the open bid of the central PSU, Hindustan Lifecare Ltd, headquartred in the state capital.

He termed the center's alleged move against Kerala's bid for the PSU, proposed to be disinvested, as not in accordance with the principles of cooperative federalism.

The state government has the competence accorded to it by the Constitution to take a decision on its own in such matters, the CM said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to PTI.

His letter to PM mentioned another letter the Chief Minister had sent in June 2017 requesting the central government against proceeding with the privataisation of HLL.

The central government, despite the request by Kerala, decided to proceed with the disinvestment. This is all the more so, given the fact that the government expressed interest to participate in the open bidding, according to him.

Presently, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has communicated to the state government that there is scope for government/ government PSEs to participate in the strategic disinvestment process in pursuance of the Preliminary Information Memorandum and Expression of Interest, PTI reported.

As per the PIM and global Invitation for the submission of Expression of Interest for the strategic disinvestment of HLL, CPSEs or Central Government owned Cooperative Societies are the only ones specified as being not eligible to participate in the proposed transaction, he said. "It is not specified anywhere that the state government/ state PSUs' are not eligible to participate in the bidding process of HLL," Pinarayi pointed out.

He brought to the attention of the Prime Minster that Kerala had acquired and handed over the land for HLL to the central government for setting up a specific project.

In the event of the Central government not to retaining HLL as government entity, he sought the state government be given the option to retain it as a state PSU. "Hence, the state government should be given the First Right to hold the land and assets of the Hindustan Lifecare Ltd in Kerala," he further said.

The CM also requested Modi to either hand over the land and assets of the HLL in Kerala to the state government or permit it to participate in the Expression of Interest process and the Request for Proposal process for the disinvestment of the PSU, the report said.

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