During the nearly two months of the Narendra Modi government, it has become clear that the government will adopt policies for the benefit of big business and international finance capital. The direction of the Union Budget for 2014-15 is to provide concessions to the corporates and the upper classes at the expense of the poorer sections. It is a trajectory for significant privatization of the economy through large-scale sale of public sector shares and greater reliance on public-private partnership. The fiscal deficit will be reined in only by expenditure cuts and squeezing the people further.
The budget essentially fails to chart a trajectory to increase growth and investment, create employment and check inflation that was needed in the current scenario. It is a budget relying more on privatisation and foreign investment and short on innovative ideas to increase revenue. The budget is grossly regressive and anti-people and would increase the burden on the common people.
The CPI(M) and the Left parties have been protesting against the exorbitant rise in the price of unsubsidized gas cylinders and the ceiling on subsidized gas cylinders of nine per year. Protests against this price rise were held in various parts of the country. .....However, the oil companies continue to insist on Aadhar linkage for the supply of subsidized gas cylinders and payment of the full market price for the cylinder on delivery and reimbursement later. The Polit Bureau demands the scrapping of the Aadhar linkage and the delivery of the twelve cylinders at subsidized rates, as earlier.
The Left parties express serious concern at the crushing burden of price rise which is affecting all sections of the people. There is no respite in the upwards spiral of prices of food items and essential commodities with food inflation reaching a record high of 20 per cent. The UPA government is adding fuel to the fire by continuously increasing the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and CNG. The Left parties decided to conduct a protest campaign against price rise
The price hike of Rs. 220 on an unsubsidized gas cylinder by the oil companies is totally unjustified and will be an intolerable burden on people already suffering from price rise. Since there is a ceiling on subsidized cylinders at nine, people have to now buy gas cylinders at exorbitant prices.Further, the insistence of the oil companies that Aadhar identification number is required for getting subsidized gas cylinders is illegal and unauthorized. It is another way to deprive households from access to gas cylinders.
The Central Committee finalized the programme of the all India jathas to be conduced by the Party. These jathas which will traverse the length and breadth of the country will propagate the Party’s stand on various major issues affecting the people and the alternative policies of the Left. The issues of food security and price rise; land and house sites; employment; education and health; and the fight against corruption will be focused in these jathas.
The CPI(M) considers that the Union Budget 2012-2013 is a regressive budget which will result in pushing up prices and imposing greater burdens on the working people. The bias towards the corporates and the rich in this budget is seen from the fact that while the direct taxes being levied from the rich will result in a loss of 4500 crores rupees, that from indirect taxes, that is through the increase in across the board service and excise duties, is expected to yield a gain of 45,940 crores. While the CPI(M) welcomes taxes on luxury items, it strongly opposes the reliance on indirect taxes for revenue mobilization as this will lead to a cascading impact pushing up prices across the board.
It is not excessive demand that is fuelling inflation, as claimed by the Government, but the hike in prices of a range of goods and services such as petrol and diesel prices, fertilizers, other agricultural inputs, power tariffs, transport charges etc. Cuts in subsidies have resulted in cost push inflation and is having a cascading impact on food prices.
The decision to cut petrol price by two rupees, on the eve of the parliament session is nothing but a poorly concealed ploy to deflect the widespread criticism of the failure of the Government to check inflation.
The Central Committee discussed a draft of the ideological resolution presented by the Polit Bureau. On the basis of this discussion, the next meeting of the Central Committee will finalise and adopt the draft ideological resolution which will then be circulated in the Party for discussions before placing it in the Party Congress.