The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on July 16. It has issued the following statement:
Growing assaults on people’s livelihood
World Bank data shows that the annual growth of the Indian economy over 2020-22 was a mere 0.8 per cent.
Unemployment: According to the CMIE Report for the January-April 2022 the number of unemployed in the age group of 20-24 years was over 2 crore – a staggering unemployment rate of 42 per cent. In the 25-29 age group, this was over sixty lac - an unemployment rate of 12.72 per cent. Together unemployment in 20-29 age group is nearly 80 per cent of the over 3 crore unemployed Indians above 15 years who are actively looking for jobs.
India’s working age population is 36 per cent of the total. Of these 61.2 per cent have simply stopped looking for employment as there are no jobs. The Labour Participation Rate has dropped to an all-time low of 38.8 per cent.
Galloping price rise: The annual Whole sale Price Index (WPI) rose to 15.8 per cent in May 2022 – the highest level since 1998. Food prices are rising 14.4 per cent; primary items by 19.71 per cent, fuel and energy by 40.63 per cent, manufacturing products by 10.11 per cent.
This price rise is imposing further hardships and reducing the purchasing capacity of the Indian people further lowering the levels of demand in the economy. The shrinkage of domestic demand is pushing down manufacturing activity leading further job losses.
Obscene levels of inequality: The communal-corporate nexus, crony capitalism and the loot of our national assets is accelerating the widening of income and wealth inequalities to obscene levels. Companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange reported collective profits of over 9.3 lac crores in 2021-22 – over 70 per cent more than the previous year and three times higher than the average profits earned annually for a decade before pandemic i.e., between 2010-2022.
The Union government must immediately impose a tax on the super-rich and use the revenue for hiking public investments to build our much needed infrastructure, generate jobs and boost domestic demand in the economy.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
Union government must immediately release funds to pay the long pending wages for those who have already worked under the MGNREGS.
Allocation for MGNREGS must be substantially increased as this is the only source of employment and livelihood for crores of rural youth.
Withdraw Compulsory Aadhar
Union government must immediately withdraw the order making Aadhar compulsory for the supplementary nutritional program for children. In the name of weeding out fake beneficiaries lacs of children between the age of six months and six years will be denied this legal entitlement that was enacted along with the National Food Security Act in 2013. Currently, 7.9 crore children benefit from this programme but, only 23 per cent of children below the age of five have Aadhar cards according to official records. India today has one of the worst records of child malnutrition in the world.
Assaults on Education
The aggressive pursuit of National Education Policy, 2020 using the restrictions during pandemic, together with all-out efforts to introduce online education is causing havoc. Lakhs of schools have been closed down and drop outs are growing at an alarming rate at college and university levels. There is an obnoxious aggressive assault against secular and scientific content of education.
Attack on tribal rights
The Modi government has mounted a vicious attack on tribal rights by amending rules under the Forest Conservation Act. These amendments are aimed to facilitate private corporates to access and control India’s forests for profit maximisation. These rules eliminate the rights of the Grama Sabhas, tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers whose prior consent was mandatory for diversion of forest land. This is also a clear violation of the Constitutional guarantees given to the tribal communities. These rules must immediately be withdrawn.
Growing assaults on civil liberties
The Polit Bureau demanded the immediate withdrawal of cases against Teesta Setalvad, Zubair Mohammed and others. These arrests are aimed at stifling dissent. Those who bring the truth before the people exposing the fake news propagated by Hindutva communal outfits that generate an atmosphere of incendiary hate and violence are increasingly being targeted by the BJP governments. Those who propagate hate speeches are not acted against but those who oppose are persecuted and prosecuted. This official patronage to hate mongers must stop.
The Polit Bureau expressed its deep concern at the devastation caused by floods in various parts of the country. In Assam the floods have wreaked extensive damage claiming many lives, destroying properties and displacing lakhs of people. Similarly, floods are causing havoc in Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat and elsewhere. Union government must immediately release the necessary resources and materials to the affected states for relief and rehabilitation.
Condemn baseless allegations
The Polit Bureau strongly condemned the unsubstantiated and baseless allegations levelled by the ruling BJP on Shri Hamid Ansari, former Vice President of India. Shri Ansari is a globally respected diplomat, scholar and served with distinction in every responsibility given to him by the Union government with an unimpeachable track record of patriotism.
Targeting Shri. Ansari because of his identity and steadfast commitment to the Indian Constitution and to the secular democratic Republic is unaaceptable.
The Polit Bureau strongly condemns the effort being made to destabilise the LDF government in Kerala misusing the Central agencies. The opposition Congress party and the BJP are acting in tandem against the LDF government which gained the confidence of the people of Kerala by once again forming the government in 2021 with a larger mandate.
75 Years of India’s Independence
The Polit Bureau called upon the entire Party to observe August 1-15, organising extensive programmes calling upon the Indian people to defend our secular democratic Constitutional Republic, the Constitution of India, Democracy, Democratic rights and civil liberties.