Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has indicated that privatisation in the collection of toll tax is acceptable, but with a regulator and appellate authority mechanism in place.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), it may be recalled, has been agitating for the past several weeks against the collection of toll tax at check points coming into Mumbai, for want of transparency from the private players collecting the tax.
“Our meeting (with the MNS) for toll collection was going to happen and got called off. However, it seems that people are looking at private players involved in such sectors as a government moving towards ‘crony capitalism’, which is not true,” Chavan said at an award function at the Mumbai Patrakar Sangh on Saturday.
Batting for private players, he said the state does not have the funds to support all projects and services, which makes the involvement of the private sector inevitable.
“We should encourage such partnerships where people are ready to give user charges, like in the energy, petroleum, and aviation sectors. That way things will get done fast,” he said.
Chavan expressed that there was a need to change the role of the state government, and social sectors like education and slum redevelopment should be kept with it. In the case of environment resources, he said the government should do a re-think in the way policies are formulated.
“Wherever there is privatisation, there needs to be a regulator and an appellate authority to solve disputes and take action, if any. Just like the TRAI for the telecom sector and SEBI for the stock exchanges,” he said.