The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), now in session at Hyderabad, has issued the following statement:
The Central Committee meeting, at the outset, paid homage to the memory of Comrade Anil Biswas, member of the Polit Bureau and Secretary of West Bengal State Committee of CPI(M), Comrade T. K. Ramakrishnan, former member of the Central Committee and veteran Communist leader of Kerala, Com. C. Kannan, veteran Communist and trade union leader from Kerala, Comrade K. Ramani, veteran leader of the Party and working class movement in Tamilnadu, Comrade Mahabub Zahedi, member of Parliament and senior leader of the Kisan Sabha in West Bengal, Comrade Sheopat Singh, veteran leader of the Party and kisan movement of Rajasthan and K. K. Pawar, member of the Maharashtra state committee.
All these leaders of the Party had passed away during the last three months.
Against Petrol/Diesel Price Hike
The Central Committee expressed its strong opposition to the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel announced by the Central government. The government has refused to consider the proposal of the Left Parties to reduce the tax/duty burden on petroleum products. At present, the taxes and duties constitute 57 per cent of the petrol price and 36 per cent of the diesel price. This could have been revised to offset any price increase. The government has not also accepted the creation of all price stabilization fund by using the money collected through cess on crude to support the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). The government has also refused to review the duty drawback of Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 4,000 crores given as export incentive to exporter of petroleum products. In the last three years, the net gain for the government has been Rs. 38,000 crores (Rs. 8,000 crore in subsidy and Rs. 20,000 crore in revenue). The subsidy reduction has been accomplished by shifting the burden on the oil companies.
At a time when the prices of all essential commodities is rising and burdening the people, the petroleum price increase will have a cascading effect. The diesel price increase will particularly affect farmers and transportation costs.
The Central Committee calls upon all Party units to continue to launch protest actions against the price rise. The Central Committee appeal to political parties, mass organizations and all sections of the people to join the June 13 All India Protest Day to demand that the price hike be rescinded.