The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Release Grains from Huge Stock-Pile
As the nation is trying to contain the spread of deadly Covid-19 virus, its adverse economic effects have already started impacting the livelihoods of vast sections of poor and marginal sections. Activities in many sectors of the economy like hospitality, tourism, construction, transport have virtually come to a standstill hitting hard the earnings of daily wage and unorganized workers, street vendors, small shopkeepers and migrant workers.
This has a direct impact on increasing hunger, malnutrition and subsequent weakening of immunity. It is therefore essential for the Central Government to release increased allocations of foodgrains to the states free of cost so as to start a programme of making free rations available to unorganized workers and migrant workers. The Central Government at present has a huge stock of 7.5 crore tonnes (as on February 1) which is rotting in godowns.
Unless the Central and state governments come forward to provide help to the families of poor to tide over the present hardship by providing free rations, they would become more vulnerable to the attack of Covid-19 virus.
The Polit Bureau urges the Central government to release foodgrains from its stockpile for distribution among the needy poor all over the country.
(For CPI(M) Central Committee Office)