The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi from October 26 to 29, 2014. It has issued the following statement:
Resist Attack on MGNREGA
The Modi government is taking steps to curtail and restrict the Rural Employment Guarantee Act. There is a proposal to restrict the implementation of the Act to 200 most backward districts in the country.
Another adverse change being proposed is the decision to alter the material-labour ratio from the current 60:40 to 51:49, increasing the proportional expenditure on materials. This has serious implications for the very character of the programme. Firstly there will be a drastic cutting down of days of work which are already low. Second, the increase in the ratio of material will automatically mean the entry of contractors and machines in much larger numbers. This will signify the conversion of MGNREGA from a work guarantee Act into a contractors commission guarantee Act.
Already there is a sharp cut in the labour budget allocation to the states. This is the allocation for payment of wages to those employed under the scheme. For instance, Tripura, which is the best performing state in the country in the implementation of the Rural Employment scheme, has already suffered a drastic cut. The agreed labour budget for Tripura was 5.15 crore person days, which amounted to a central allocation of 1,406.96 crores rupees for the year. However, this amount was arbitrarily slashed by over 47 per cent to 660 crore by the Centre.
Instead of serious improvements in the implementation of MGNREGA to increase the number of workdays from the current dismal national average of 45 days to its full potential of 100 days, the BJP government is seeking to subvert the character of the employment guarantee scheme.
The Central Committee considers the moves to curtail MGNREGA as a serious onslaught on the rights and livelihood of the rural poor. It calls upon all the democratic forces and mass organisations to unitedly oppose these changes.
The Central Committee decided to conduct a countrywide campaign on the issue. On December 2, a protest day will be observed. In Delhi, a mass dharna will be conducted and the Chief Minister of Tripura, Manik Sarkar, will lead the dharna.
Unearthing Black Money
The Modi government’s commitment to unearth black money and take firm action against those who have illegally stashed away money abroad has come under serious question. The BJP’s stand on this issue during the election campaign has proved to be hollow rhetoric. Just as the UPA government, the Modi government too has been unwilling to come out with the information which the government had received about those holding foreign bank accounts.
In this connection, the Party welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court asking the government to supply the list forthwith to the Court. It is pertinent to note that the Court has expressed doubt about government’s sincerity and resolve in the matter.
Labour Laws Dilution
The Central Committee extended full support to the struggle of the Central trade unions against the amendments to the labour laws. These proposed changes will take the majority of workers out of the purview of the labour laws.
December 6 Anniversary
The Central Committee called upon all its units to observe December 6, the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, as a day against communalism and for communal amity along with other Left and secular forces.
Draft Review Report: The Central Committee discussed the Draft Review Report of the Political-Tactical Line of the Party. This review was undertaken in order to identify any weaknesses or shortcomings which need to be corrected to ensure the growth of the independent strength of the Party and to be able to advance the struggle for a Left and democratic front.
After the discussions, the Central Committee authorized the Polit Bureau to present a revised draft on the lines suggested by the PB for approval in the next meeting of the Central Committee.
The next Central Committee meeting in January will also adopt the Draft Political resolution and both these documents will be released for discussions within the Party in the run-up to the 21st Congress.
The Central Committee decided that there will be 749 elected delegates to the 21st Party Congress. The state-wise quota of delegates to be elected was finalised.
The Central Committee decided to hold a Plenum on Organisation after the Congress on the basis of the guidelines to be decided by the Congress.