The Left parties call upon all their units all across the country to raise these demands to pressurize the governments to implement these, through protest actions, taking into account the concrete conditions prevailing there, maintaining the needed physical distancing and wearing masks.
The Indian economy was already in the grip of a severe slowdown, bordering on recession, with largescale fall in production, job loss, agrarian distress and a steep rise in unemployment on the eve of the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. With this lockdown the situation has worsened and the misery of the people has grown exponentially.
The people of the country who implemented the three week long lockdown ending today were looking forward to concrete measures that the government will undertake to resolve the problems that arose during these three weeks and provide the much needed relief for a large number of our poor, marginalised and migrant labour.
Contrary to the propaganda that the BJP government has unleashed on the completion of one year in office, the livelihood conditions of the vast majority of the Indian people are actually declining. The massive hikes in the prices of petroleum products in the background of the fall in the international price of crude oil is fuelling all-round inflation, particularly of food items and essential commodities.
Protest against dilution of MNREGA
The Polit Bureau took serious note of the fact that the United States has sought to pressurize India on the Indian Patent law and Intellectual Property Rights policy. It also sought the dilution of the civil nuclear liability law of the country. Both these are reflected in the joint statement issued by Prime Minister Modi and President Obama. The joint statement announced the decision to set up an Intellectual Property Working Group. The US pharmaceutical companies have been demanding that India dilute its present patent regime which has utilised the flexibilities provided in the TRIPS agreement. It is this which helps to keep drug prices low for the people in India.
The budget essentially fails to chart a trajectory to increase growth and investment, create employment and check inflation that was needed in the current scenario. It is a budget relying more on privatisation and foreign investment and short on innovative ideas to increase revenue. The budget is grossly regressive and anti-people and would increase the burden on the common people.
A party which promised job creation during its election campaign is now suggesting the elimination of the only legal guarantee for creation of jobs, namely MGNREGA. The last years of the UPA government had also seen MGNREGA become a hostage to fiscal considerations and funds were severely cut.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the reported attempt by the Central government to amend the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in so far as it provides for only a one time adherence to minimum wages and a commitment to just provide funds to cover wages up to this extent for all times to come, except for an annual inflation linked revision.