March 6, 2011
Press Communiqué
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on March 4 & 5, 2011. It has issued the following statement:
Assembly Elections
The Central Committee heard reports about the preparations being made for the elections in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Assam and Puducherry. The Central Committee called upon the people of West Bengal and Kerala to ensure the victory of the Left Front and the Left Democratic Front. The Congress and its TMC and UDF allies should be defeated as they are responsible for the acute price rise, massive corruption and attacks on the livelihood of the people. The Left Front of West Bengal and the LDF government of Kerala have stood out for the implementation of pro-people policies and safeguarding the interests of the working people.
The Central Committee approved the electoral tactics worked out for fighting the elections in Tamilnadu, Puducherry and Assam.
Union Budget
The Union Budget manifests all the negative features of the neo-liberal policies being pursued by the UPA government. It has totally failed to address the serious problems of high inflation and the relentless rise of food and fuel prices. The refusal to reduce excise and customs duties on petroleum products that were increased in the last budget signals the government’s intention to allow fuel prices to increase at a time when the international oil prices are going up. The budget has failed to come out with any measures to curb price rise at a time when the people are suffering from the relentless rise of food and fuel prices. The massive Rs. 20,000 crore cut in subsidies of fuel, fertiliser and food will add to the burdens on the people.
The Direct Cash Transfer programme in lieu of subsidies will only lead to further price rise. It will lead to the exclusion of large sections of the country’s poor from subsidised food and fuel. It will open the way for dismantling the public distribution system and push the people to the market and the private sector where prices will increase and the cash subsidy will remain fixed. Further, cash transfer for fertilisers to the BPL category alone will mean excluding most farmers who are landholders and do not come under the BPL category.
The budget while cutting subsidies has given further concessions to the corporate sector with the cut in surcharge. The corporate tax exemption for 2010-11 totalled over Rs. 88,000 crore. Rs. 40,000 crores is targeted for realization through disinvestment of PSU shares. The allocations for the welfare of women, minorities, dalits and tribals are thoroughly inadequate. The service tax of five percent on diagnostic tests and for hospitals will make access to health care more difficult for people.
The Central Committee opposes the retrograde provisions in the budget and calls upon the Party to mobilize people against the new burdens imposed on them.
Price Rise
The food inflation rate stood at 15.67 per cent in January 2011. This shows that the food prices index has risen by a further 15 per cent from January 2010 to January 2011. The Congress-led government stands indicted for its failure to curb food inflation. The UPA government pursuing the neo-liberal agenda, wants to allow FDI in retail trade and the replacement of the system of subsidised food through PDS with direct cash transfers. The CPI(M) opposes these steps. It demands enhancing the State support for agriculture and a universal PDS.
Fight Corruption
The Central Committee noted that the government was compelled to constitute the Joint Parliamentary Committee to enquire into the 2G Spectrum scam after a prolonged struggle by the opposition. It is also necessary that the investigative agencies take action against those companies which illegally got licences. The Government should cancel these licences and auction the spectrum so that the lost revenue can be recovered.
The Central Committee wanted an independent enquiry into the Antrix-Devas contract (which has now been annulled), which involved the launching of two satellites and allocation of 70 MHz S band spectrum.
The Supreme Court has indicted the UPA government for appointing P J Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner and set aside the appointment. The Prime Minister was directly involved in the selection process. He has yet to explain how the former telecom secretary under A Raja and who had a case pending against him earlier was made the CVC.
The way the UPA government has handled the 2G spectrum affair and the manner in which the CVC was appointed, have all raised questions about the role of the Prime Minister in this affair and the cover-up that was attempted.
Black Money
The measures announced in the Budget 2011 on tackling black money and illicit fund flows are grossly inadequate. The Government must launch a drive to unearth black money, especially those stashed in Swiss Banks and other offshore tax havens. The Mauritius route must be plugged by scrapping the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Mauritius. Participatory Notes used by the Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) must be prohibited.
Extremist Hindutva Terror
The confession by Aseemanand before a magistrate has confirmed the links of certain extremist Hindutva groups with the Malegaon, Ajmer Sharief, Mecca Masjid and Samjhautha Express blasts. The RSS cannot deny that some of its ranks have joined in these terrorist activities.
The investigative agencies should uncover the full network and bring all those guilty to book. At the same time innocent Muslim youth who have been falsely implicated in such cases as in the Malegaon blast should be released forthwith and they should be compensated for their illegal detention.
ULFA Talks
The Central Committee welcomed the talks being held between the ULFA and the Assam State Government. The Central Government should initiate talks with other extremist groups who are operating in Assam and Manipur.
Violence Against Women
The Central Committee expressed its concern at the increasing violence against women. It demanded that the long pending legislations on violence against women should be passed. It demanded that the Women’s Reservation Bill be passed without further delay.
Workers March To Parliament
The Central Committee congratulated the central trade unions which had organized the massive workers March to Parliament on February 23. The lakhs of men and women workers who participated in the March was a manifestation of the anger and discontent among the working class against the anti-working class policies of the UPA government. The Central Committee fully supports the five-point charter of demands set out for the March.
Middle East
The Central Committee greeted the people’s uprising in Egypt which has led to the ouster of the Mubarak regime. It extended its full support for the popular movement in Egypt for ushering in of a democratic set up.
The Central Committee expressed its opposition to the moves of the United States and Nato to militarily intervene in Libya. The people of Libya should decide how to resolve their problems and the type of political system that they should have. The Central Committee wanted the speedy evacuation of all Indian nationals from Libya and steps taken to rehabilitate the large number of returning workers who have become jobless.
Review Reports
The Central Committee reviewed the work done on the rectification campaign conducted so far. The CC also adopted a review of the work on the trade union front.
Call For Movement
The Central Committee called upon all its Party units to continue the agitation against price rise, mobilize the people against high level corruption and take up the issues of the peasantry and the rural poor. The Party should step up the struggle for a universal public distribution system and food security; for proper implementation of the MNREGA and the Forest Rights Act; against disinvestment in public sector enterprises and opposition to FDI in retail. The State Committees will take up demands related to these issues for launching movements in their respective states.