A meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Left parties was held on July 12, 2004. They have issued the following statement:
The Left parties decided to meet regularly and strengthen the existing Coordination Committee of the four parties. It was also decided that the UPA leadership should be approached to have a consultative mechanism for taking up issues regarding the implementation of the Common Minimum Programme and related matters.
The Coordination Committee discussed the union budget proposals. They welcomed the focus on agricultural development, education, repair of water bodies, provision of Rs. 14,194 crore to the central PSEs and the additional budgetary allocation of Rs. 10,000 crore for the Central plan.
However, the Left parties are of the firm opinion that the increase in the share of foreign capital in the telecom, insurance and civil aviation sectors is uncalled for. Raising the FDI cap to 74 per cent in telecom would result in foreign companies operating in this sensitive sector which has even security implications. Increasing the FDI cap to 49 per cent in insurance will further privatise the insurance sector and harm the public sector insurance companies like the GIC and LIC.
The Left Coordination Committee decided to oppose these measures and to ask the government to reconsider them. They will conduct a public campaign to mobilise support to protect these sectors from further foreign control.
The meeting was attended by Harkishan Singh Surjeet, A.B. Bardhan, Abani Roy, Manoj Bhattacharya, Sitaram Yechury, Pallab Sengupta and Prakash Karat. Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary of the All India Forward Bloc could not attend the meeting as he was away from Delhi.